As if this time of year doesn't involve enough rushing around, it's also probably your busiest time for social occasions. And when you've already got to think about what to wear, how to get there, childcare for the kids and coping strategies for when you overindulge, it's incredibly helpful to have a standard kit for your handbag.
Here's our checklist of essentials for the night – why not print it out to make sure you're never without the necessities?
A small purse or wallet
Whether it's attached to your clutch bag or separate, it's worth having a different purse that has room for just a credit card, a few notes and some coins. That way, you won't risk losing everything if you leave it somewhere.
A dressy lipstick and powder
There's nothing like a slash of bright red lipstick for instantly upgrading a look from frumpy to fabulous. From dark, moody claret to a sharp magenta pink, choose your colour wisely, and apply when needed using a powder compact mirror – and while you're at it, a little powder will control any pore-revealing oil on your complexion.
Eyeliner and mascara
A little lick of mascara and a flick of eyeliner make a subtle but important difference to your face, especially if you want to distract from tired eyes after a long day.
Tampax Compak Pearl
Make sure you're always prepared with the most discreet Tampax yet. The Tampax Compak Pearl is extra small and comes in a discreet wrapper, so it won't show up in your party clutch.
If you're more used to sloppy sheepskin boots than sexy high heels, you may find your feet suffering during party season. That's why it makes sense to pack some gel plasters ready to apply at the first twinge.
Mints or chewing gum
When you go in for that midnight kiss, you want your breath to smell as minty fresh as it did when you'd just cleaned your teeth – even if you overindulged in the garlic bread at dinner!
Mini hairspray, dry shampoo and clips
However good your hair looked when you set out this morning, if you've had a long day of childcare or work, it's probably looking a tad limp. Go at it with dry shampoo, hairspray and, of course, a sparkly hairclip, to feel instantly more glam.
What are your party essentials? Why not share your tips in the comments box below?