Face it: The thought of doing the holiday rounds―this party, that open house, the weekend at the in-laws’―can make curling up on your couch with a drink and a DVD seem like your own private Bora Bora. It’s not just that a month of almost continuous celebration calls for a kind of gusto only elves can muster. There’s also the stressful fact that, unlike a muumuu, party protocol is not one-size-fits-all. What’s fashionably late at a friend’s open house may be seen as tardiness at an office party, and coming up with hostess gifts to suit five different occasions can tax even the best of us. But this year, armed with the following tips from those in the know, you’ll be able to actually relax and enjoy the festivities. Who needs secluded Polynesian beaches, anyway?