Adulting 101, Holiday Edition: Who to Gift, How Much to Spend and What Exactly Is Eggnog?


As a kid, the holidays were a truly magical experience. Those were the days when mom and dad got a real Christmas tree (none of that fake, plastic nonsense), every inch of the house was decked out in holiday spirit and Christmas cookies were always made from scratch.

Now that you’re officially an adult, the holidays are a totally unique experience. Instead of cool toys, you’ve been gifted a one-way ticket aboard the responsibility train—destination, mature grown-up. Sigh…If you want to know more visit

Let’s face it, no one really prepares young adults for this rude awakening. Suddenly, we’re just expected to know exactly what to wear to holiday office parties and how to host a killer Christmas party like it’s our job.

If you’re just as lost and confused as we were in our 20s, we’ve got your back. Read on to find the answers to all your most pressing holiday questions and start acing adulthood like a pro.


Who Do I Gift This Year?

The short answer is: Anyone you feel like. Your family, significant other and close friends are obviously a given. For anyone else (coworkers, acquaintances, the dog walker, etc.), consider making a Christmas budget so you can see just how much holiday cheer you can add to their lives without destroying your bank account in the process. 

Also, be prepared for the friendly neighbor or coworker who will catch you by surprise with a gift you weren’t expecting. Don’t feel obligated to return the favor! Trust us–they’ll know that you just scrambled to find something for them at the last minute. Instead, just accept the gift with grace and say that you’re surprised and touched by their thoughtfulness.

How Much Should I Spend?

Honestly, gift giving is super subjective. How much you decide to spend on gifts depends on your budget and the relationship you have with the receiver.

Whatever you do, don’t inflate your Christmas budget to match those around you. Just because your BFF surprised you last year with a $100 yoga mat doesn’t mean that you need to deviate from your plan of finding a gift for her under $50.

Also, keep in mind that homemade gifts aren’t off the table! Just make sure that your homemade gifts clearly show that you put time, effort and thought into making them. It also helps if your homemade gift is, you know—useful. Basically, nothing that could potentially end up on this list

What Do I Wear to the Holiday Office Party?

Ah yes, the dreaded holiday office party. A mind-numbingly boring social and professional minefield that all of us are expected to navigate each and every year.

No matter where your holiday office party is being held, remember to keep your look professional. Stick to wearing business casual attire with a festive twist (think a red plaid button down shirt with khaki pants or a green dress with a sequined purse) and leave your funny Christmas shirts and ugly Christmas sweaters at home. And yes, that goes for your Nama-sleigh t-shirt.

Christmas party

What About Regular Holiday Parties?

Oh, you mean the holiday party you actually want to attend? Well, in that case, have some fun with your look! Rock a bold red lip for the occasion or wear the ugliest Christmas sweater you can find.

Just keep in mind that even though you’re not at a holiday office party, there is still a chance that your boss could see photos of you on social media. To play it safe, avoid deep necklines and crude Christmas shirts that might be considered offensive.

While you’re at it, watch your behavior and keep the drinks to a minimum. Remember, you want your boss to look at you and see a high-performing achiever—not a sloppily-drunk person gripping an entire bottle of peppermint schnapps on the dance floor.

What Is Eggnog and Why Can’t I Stop Drinking It?

So, your friend finally convinced you to try a sip of her eggnog. Now, you’re officially hooked on the gloriously creamy drink that everyone associates with Christmastime. But what is eggnog, anyway?

Basically, eggnog is custard that’s been spiked with booze—typically, bourbon or rum. Although there are tons of traditional eggnog recipes, most involve a blend of eggs, sugar, milk, cream, flavoring and alcohol. 

The result is a deliciously-creamy concoction that is perfect for sipping next to a hot fire while listening to Bing Crosby’s classic Merry Christmas album. The only downside is that eggnog is loaded with calories (roughly 350 calories for non-alcoholic eggnog, eek!), cholesterol and fat, which leads us to our next question…


Should I Even Try to Work Out During the Holidays? 

We won’t lie to you: Squeezing fitness into a packed holiday schedule is H-A-R-D. That being said, it’s one of the most important things you can do for yourself this holiday season.

Not only will exercise help you burn off those extra calories you’re sure to consume (hello, eggnog and Christmas cookies), it’s also key to maintaining your sanity this year. Exercise is a fantastic stress reliever that can help you keep your cool when your aunt starts criticizing your love life (or, lack thereof) or when your boss throws a last-minute work project at you. 

To fit exercise into your schedule this year, focus on doing HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts that burn more calories in less time. Don’t want to sacrifice family time for your workouts? Rope everyone into going skiing, sledding or another winter activity that doubles as a calorie-burning exercise.

The Holidays Are What You Make of Them

Just because you’re an adult now doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun during the holidays. You just need to find ways to balance your newfound responsibilities with relaxing activities that you’ll look forward to year after year. 

Decorate your home while listening to Taylor Swift’s Christmas album. Snuggle up with your partner for a holiday movie night. Rope your friends into doing a Christmas bar crawl with you. No matter what you do, remember that the holidays are now what you make of them—so make them good!


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