Freshly showered and dressed up to the nines, you sit down for dinner at the Christmas party. It’s all going swimmingly until a colleague pats you just a little too hard on your back – adding a dash of red (wine) to your white shirt. What do you do?

You take a time-out from the party and call up Google, because as everyone knows, the Internet has all the answers. But there are so many options you hardly know where to start. You drop the ‘kitty litter’ solution, and think that ‘white wine removes red wine stains’ might be a bit of a stretch.

So let us save you some time. Be prepared instead. Here’s some good advice for avoiding typical pre-Christmas crises:

Crisis 1: Frozen fingers waiting for a taxi (and a grumpy guy in front of you in the queue)

tie_icons__0006_Artwork 1Solution: Stay at a hotel. No surprises that this tip comes from us. We are huge fans of staying at a hotel. But think about it – and do the maths! Taxi home + late supper + ketchup on your winter coat ++ compared to a short route to bed with breakfast the next day included.

It’s easy to forget that we’re not immortal 20-year-olds any more.

Crisis 2: Back to that red wine stain …

tie_icons__0005_Artwork 2Solution: Zalo! Ask for a splash from the kitchen at the restaurant or hotel (in the restaurant industry, Renax is the same as Zalo). Gently rub the detergent over the stain, leave it for 30 seconds and then scrub the stain off under hot water. Then use a hair dryer to dry it quickly: perfect.

Anti-solution: Let us hereby quash the myth about salt. It is true that salt attracts moisture, and that it therefore helps to remove the stain. But it won’t get rid of the red colour. In fact, salt can make the colourant from the wine bind even more tightly to the fabric. That is precisely why salt is often used in the process of dyeing materials.

Crisis 3: Mud splashes on your trouser legs

tie_icons__0004_Artwork 3Solution: If you have kids, you know how practical it is to carry wet wipes with you in your bag. And there is no reason not to have wet wipes in your pocket at a Christmas party. They come in small packs. And can help with a host of problems. But if you run into a real disaster: swallow your pride with a large glass of water and make your way down to reception. There will always be someone there who can help you!

Crisis 4: (Predominantly one for the ladies) Ladders in your stockings

tie_icons__0002_Artwork 5Solution: Concentrate when putting them on: file your nails (fingers and toes!), moisturise your hands, and take off any rings. The trick is to roll up the stocking, carefully insert your toes, and then roll smoothly up from the ankle, over the knees and all the way to your thighs and bum. And take clear nail varnish with you to the party. With that in your bag, you’re always ready to seal off the start of a crisis.

But if misfortune should strike (and you’ve forgotten the nail varnish): head off to the nearest bathroom and rub a little liquid soap on the ‘wound’ in your stockings. This will stop it getting any worse.

PS Many hotel reception desks stock a small arsenal of toiletries, and have all kinds of things you can buy. Ask the reception staff for help before panic sets in.

Crisis 5: The painful SoMe-slap

tie_icons__0001_Artwork-6Solution: Leave your phone in your hotel room. Neither you nor your colleagues really need the update that feels “just so spot on” as midnight approaches. Facebook feeds are already overflowing with more-or-less festive posts from Christmas parties all over town. Be present in the present; start a new conversation, treat yourself and concentrate on enjoying the evening rather than documenting it for posterity.

Crisis 6: The terrible sense of loneliness. When you just feel so completely isolated.

Solution: Embrace the feeling and get out of there. There is no law against saying “I’m off” or thinking “I’m not in the mood for this” and getting an early night. Make your excuses, climb into your hotel bed, prop yourself up on a pile of pillows and call up a film. Enjoy some “me time”! You can surely find all kinds of reasons why you deserve it.

Crisis 7: The morning after …

tie_icons__0000_Artwork-7Solution: Ask the hotel about the option for a late check-out. There is no reason to rush out before you absolutely have to, and most hotels are quite flexible. Remember to ask at reception how long breakfast is served. Have a good, solid breakfast. Treat yourself to an extra croissant. Enjoy.

Where will you be staying at a hotel before Christmas this year?