If your default position at parties is typically somewhere between the facilities and the punch-bowl, make efforts to move to the front -- or wherever the action is, and test drive your personal branding.
Start by approaching the nearest person who looks like the Grinch’s less lovable brother and offer a toast to the holidays. Make it your personal mission to turn that frown upside down. Practicing your unflappable charm on Guy Smiley or the DJ doesn’t count. Attempting to change someone’s mood for the better is a noble cause that makes you a more resilient conversationalist. If it fails, you’ll still feel good for trying.