Making friends as adults can be hard. So can being put into social situations with people you don't know, or who you know in a very different context (like work).
December is classically the season of the office Christmas party, or perhaps a freelancer's festive gathering designed for those working independently. It's great to get together and celebrate the season of good tidings and joy, but can't it sometimes get a bit too awkward for words? Nobody wants to be hovering on the outside of a circle, or stuck in the corner seat unable to escape for air (or a change of conversation).
The magic solution? You need a FOCUS. If you're in charge of organising a get-together for people who don't know each other very well, I cannot recommend an organised workshop highly enough. I recently attended a Cocktail Making Masterclass at The Moth and The Moon in Falmouth and had the best evening, despite only knowing one other person in the room.
Having a focused activity means that everyone can relax and be comfortable even if the situation is unfamiliar. We were in Moth and Moon's new 'snug' room and each had our own 'cocktail making station' at the table, complete with shakers, stirrers and a glass of prosecco. Instantly everyone feels invited, included and like they are supposed to be there - imposter syndrome eliminated. Especially for the socially anxious, having a 'place to be' can be a huge relief.
We were a small-ish group of eight, so everyone was introduced to each other by our host Charlotte and the conversation ranged from whole-group chat to one-to-one discussions. No small talk, just real talk and cocktail talk. It was the kind of situation where you could either be a listener or a talker, no pressure either way. Although the session was structured, this wasn't a science lesson at school, so there was of course plenty of opportunity for giggles and chat.
Barista Harvey led us through a short history of cocktail making, including fun fact that the Porn-Star Martini is apparently the UK's favourite - so what better tipple to begin with? Careful measuring and precision mixing followed, finished off by the floating of half a passion-fruit atop our creations! (Helpful hint: if you've over-measured anything and your glass is looking full, you'll need to take a sip to avoid an overflow!)
After a short break to explore the terrarium and rooftop patio, we reassembled to create the 'Old Favourite' before leaving with a parting shot! I certainly learnt more about cocktails than I knew beforehand, and continue to increase my knowledge (and inspiration!) by following the Moth and Moon's Instagram, which is full of cold-glass close-ups and recipes.
Despite obviously being an alcohol-related event, the session wasn't too boozy and several drivers in the room still had a great time making and tasting their cocktails, even if they were then dutifully drunk by someone else! It's possible than on request, a mocktail menu could be created.
It was such a pleasure to be gifted this event and meet fellow writers and marketeers from across the Falmouth and Truro area. If you'd like to book a cocktail masterclass, contact The Moth and The Moon to ask about availability.
Next time I'm organising an event I'm definitely going to look for a workshop or masterclass with a structure like this - it puts people so much at ease, and at £24.95 including the two cocktails, prosecco and a shot as well as teaching, it's very good value either as an event on it's own or as the start of a night out in Falmouth.
Enjoy your festive gatherings, whatever you end up doing, and remember to keep an eye out for people who might not be finding a certain social situation easy. You could make a big difference in putting someone at ease - which is one of your key roles as a host.
Merry Christmas, and let's be wonderful to each other!