Whether or not you are uncomfortable at these yearly soirees that can be an opportunity for holiday business networking, or have "seasonal shyness", there's one important thing to remember.You're not alone. Over 90 % of Adults self identify as shy in varying situations.
Although these are stressed economic times, people still want to get together to celebrate or commiserate. We need to be mindful that many are watching their nickels and dimes and that includes many corporations and organizations.
One of my global clients said that when revenues at his firm were down, the Christmas/Holiday party was put on hold. People felt bad about the cancellation as they wanted to come together in a social setting to mingle, schmooze and laugh. Spirits were dampened. So he organized a semi-potluck party at a local venue with a very nominal per person charge for his team. It wasn't fancy but it was fun. It buoyed their spirits and his people thanked him! IF you organize a get-together people will thank you, too.
Some Helpful Hints:
Find a nominal local venue. Many community centers rent their facilities. Your local chamber is a good source.
Check out the local pizza/burger/deli/take- out restaurant. Mather High School in Chicago had a 50th anniversary (not my 50th reunion)! and the fare was catered comfort food (pizza, sliders and hot dogs). BTW, the food was a great ice-breaker.
Beverages can be BYOB or have a no-host bar.
Appetizers, desserts and other favorite dishes make for prime potluck fare.
Music can be provided by a local DJ or IPOD audio or a Pandora station of your selection.
As for the entertainment, it's the conversations, the stories, the laughter and the camaraderie. The attendees are the "headliners". After all, it is a season of sharing.