The holidays are here again! Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, chances are you’ll be asked to participate in some themed activities by friends and co-workers. How much you participate in these activities is always up to you, so you should never feel pressured to take part. But if you do join in, we want to make sure you’re prepared, so we’ve answered some of the most common holiday season questions!

What Do I Wear to an Ugly Sweater Party?

During December, ugly Christmas sweaters are absolutely everywhere. They’ve become so popular that people even host ugly Christmas sweater themed parties! So, inevitably, you’ve been invited to an ugly Christmas sweater party … your first thought is: what do I wear? Our answer: embrace it and have fun. There are so many funny ugly sweaters that focus on winter, rather than Christmas!

Can I Eat/Drink That?

Traditional North American Christmas fare is not necessarily the most halal-friendly of food traditions. Some stuffings have bacon, and many Christmas desserts and beverages traditionally contain alcohol. Most hosts will ask if any guests have dietary restrictions before the event, so feel free to speak up and let your host know what you can’t eat and they’ll usually make sure that there are at least a few dishes to meet each guest’s needs. If you’re not able to let them know beforehand, just ask whoever made the dish before you try it. Holiday parties are about making guests feel welcome, so your host will want to make sure you feel comfortable!

What If Someone Gives Me a Gift?

Even Christmas experts have been caught off-guard by this scenario: you’re suddenly handed an unexpected holiday gift and you don’t have anything for them in return. Gifts are about giving, not getting something in return, so don’t feel pressured to have gifts for everyone. Hand-written cards are always a nice follow-up to unexpected gifts, but really, a heartfelt “thank you” is all anyone ever really needs.

Office Secret Santa: Do I Have to Participate?

The short answer: no. If you do decide to join in, stick to the price limit and avoid giving gifts that are too personal unless you know the co-worker you’ve drawn really well.

Shop Strategically 

The best piece of advice we could give you for the month of December is to shop strategically (aka avoid the mall at all costs). Getting caught in the crowds and line-ups can be super stressful. Online shopping will be your ultimate go-to during this time. A great thing about online shopping around the holidays is that many stores have exclusive online promotions and free shipping! While that’s great and all, our favourite part about online shopping? No one is going to judge you if you’re wearing pyjamas.