Put down the ugly Christmas sweater and stop wrapping the bath salts you bought for your white elephant party: let’s get real. Does your seasonal social agenda involve a giant? How about a street walker? A bunch of people convinced the world is gonna end? No?! Ours doesn’t either. Luckily, we can press our lil’ noses up against the snowy windows of our favorite books and live vicariously through a few of our favorite characters as they dance, feast, and laugh the night away. Grab a cup of cheer and party on.
The Yule Ball
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling
A party you can spend 3 hours getting ready for is the greatest gift of all. And Hermione does it right—she makes an entraaaaance like Diana Ross sans the Supremes and looking so totally different than she does every day of her life that her best friends don’t even recognize her. A party is not a party if you’re not making everyone fall in love with you. And at the Yule Ball, holiday love and magic are real. Plus, it’s always fun to watch a bunch of old wizards (um, people) loosen up and dance to a band called the Weird Sisters. Take notes.
The Turkey Curry Buffet
Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding
Ham and fruitcake? Thanks but no thanks. Bridget and pals kick it international style at the turkey curry buffet of her parents’ friends, the charmingly Britishly named Una and Geoffrey Alconbury. Sure, it’s held on New Year’s Day. And sure, there are probably better ways to work off the champagne hangover than getting your butt grabbed by an old dude and taking down a heaping plate of Indian-inspired cuisine. But anywhere Mark Darcy is, we wanna be, so this party gets an RSVP of “yes” forever and ever amen.
Less Than Zero, by Bret Easton Ellis
Ok, hear us out on this one. First of all, the flagrantly written invitation alone (“Let’s F_ _ _ Christmas Together” ) is reason enough to make a cameo. But then you gotta throw in the fact that it’s being held at a Beverly Hills mansion filled to the brim with Blair’s father, his wife AND his boyfriend (wut), assorted models and celebrities, guys who look like David Bowie, and people who consider casually racist remarks to be fun party banter, and you’ve got yourself a morally bereft Festivus unfit for the rest of us. Which is exactly why we’d go. If we don’t do things just for the stories, then how is life worth living? This party is the social equivalent of spiking the eggnog with blood and absinthe—it’ll eat away at your life force if you’re not too careful. We’d stay just long enough to get totally outraged and offended, then regale our real friends later on with tales of how the other half lives (and slowly dies inside).
Impromptu Gathering at Casa Sedaris
“Dinah the Christmas Whore,” from Naked by David Sedaris
If nothing else, the holidays are about spending time with your loved ones. And whose loved ones do we most wanna hang out with? David Sedaris’s, obviously. This late-night gathering proves a party is all about your your state of mind. As long as you’re tucked in around the kitchen table with a funnier family than yours and the woman of the night they’ve taken in, you’re basically set. But wait, there’s more! Dinah, a woman who rivals Santa for having “the world’s oldest profession,” comes bearing gifts, like a rabbit jacket and stripper shoes for the little ones to try on. And with a six-year-old playing bar back, there’s really nothing left to do but pull up a chair (and maybe dust off your best anecdote about the den of iniquity you were at prior to this).
End of the World Party
White Teeth, by Zadie Smith
Simply put, it’s at a commune. A good commune only comes around a long once in a long while…and again, remember why we do things? For the stories! At the very least, the guests here actually believe in something, and that’s exactly the spirit you want during the holiday season. Plus, we heard people are meeting their future husbands and wives here, so maybe wanna step it up? Wear a tie? JK. Communes have a very relaxed dress code, or so we hear.
The Fezziwig’s Christmas Party
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
Bust out the petticoats and the dance cards, Mr. Fezziwig is rocking his most baller white wig and he’s ready to get his jig on. The thing about Fezziwig that’s so delightful is that he’s a businessman but he’s also a business, man—and his business is showing family, friends, partners, and apprentices the time of their lives come holiday season. It’s the “best holiday party in London” and a Christmas party in the truest sense of the words (guaranteed figgy pudding!), so we’re all about it. Just watch out for ghosts who are teaching invaluable life lessons.
What fictional party are you dying to attend?