People look less anxious in the tearoom this time of year when finding themselves beside some colleague who they don't really care for during the agonising wait for the kettle to boil. There's no need for fiddling with spoons or pretending to be really interested in the expiry date of the milk or the ancient notices of the noticeboard. All they have to do is say, Are you all organised for Christmas? and the other person will go, Oh hardly! Leaving it til the last minute as usual! And they both faux-chortle just as the water rumbles.
Pour, stir, hasty exit.