We’re almost halfway through November, which means many things, of course – it’s bitterly cold, it’s dark when you leave the flat in the morning (and when you get in at night) and you can see your breath in the shower. Two things are particularly important, especially if you intend to keep a social calendar and continue to feel admiration from your friends well into 2017…

Firstly, it’s that Christmas is but weeks away and you’re already late with your Christmas shopping. That is simply fact. Whether it’s a £10 Secret Santa, a box of homemade mince pies or a beautifully knitted JW scarf made in Scotland – whatever your budget and for whomever you’re buying, the time is now! Second is protecting your reputation as social master of ceremonies – that is, throwing the best Friendsmas you’ve ever had. We’ve claimed the 17 December as our official Friendsmas Day and suggest you do the same. Below is our guide to winning at Friendsmas (and by extension life); take note, and take the glory!

1. Friends Your guest list is everything when it comes to a dinner party, and Friendsmas is no exception. Invite too many people and you’ll be herding cats; too few and the vibe will be bleaker then Arctic tundra. Invite the core crew (the second tier can see you at the pub after) and invite them now; if they’re worth having, they’re probably already booked up.

2. Frocks & Finery Look no further; click here for the best Friendsmas looks for her and for him.

3. Food Although Christmas is a time of reckless overindulgence and waist-ruining mega-feasts, no one likes a failure. It’s tough love, but fair. Stick to what you know. If all you know is beans on toast – get out from under the culinary rock you’ve been hiding under and start practicing.

4. Fizz Essential to every successful dinner are its liquid accompaniments. Drinks on arrivals, drinks with the starter, drinks during the main, drinks for dessert, drinks while you wait, drinks between drinks. Drinks, drinks, drinks!

5. Frills Dust off that Pinterest account and get crafting. The Internet is full of wonderful life hacks, cheats, and shortcuts on how to turn your flat into a treasure trove of eye-watering treats. Banish the Poundland tinsel and channel your inner Kirsty Allsop.
6. Failure Let’s be honest; it’s great to show off your domesticity but sometimes it’s not worth the hassle. If Yorkshire pudding failure is very likely, take your Friendsmas to a restaurant or local pub this year. You’ll be closer to town if you want to carry on the party (plus it saves you washing up).

Merry Friendsmas! #JackHacks