’Tis the season where endless holiday parties reign supreme. With such a demanding social schedule, it can be easy to lose track of the holiday party DOs and the holiday party DON’Ts. Which is exactly why we’ve highlighted a few of the most important here for your party-going pleasure.
DO bring a hostess gift.
The first rule of holiday party etiquette is: don’t show up empty-handed. So, what should you show up with? Something for the bar is a safe bet. Wine, seasonal beers and champagne are all acceptable options. In most cases, gifts of this nature will be welcomed with open arms and empty glasses. If adult beverages aren’t your thing, you can’t go wrong with a favorite treat from a local bakery or a perennial bouquet of flowers in a simple vase.
DON’T bring kids to grown-up party.
You know the saying. There are a time and place for everything. It certainly rings true for kids and holiday parties. While some parties are for everyone, some just aren’t. A grown-up party is a grown-up party for a reason. It’s hard to relax and enjoy yourself – or your party – with kids running around. There’s nothing wrong with a polite, “You know, we really mean for this to be an adults-only party. Sorry. I hope you will still be able to make it!” if you’re hosting. If you’re the one with the kids, it’s best to go ahead and book that sitter (sooner rather than later).
DO stick to small talk.
Keeping the topics light can also ensure you don’t get trapped in an uncomfortable conversation you can’t easily find your way out of. If you’re fishing for topics, pop culture is a great go-to. Upcoming vacations? Big plans in the coming year? Both timely and appropriate topics for any holiday party.
DON’T bring unexpected guests.
Always, always, always clear extra guests with the host beforehand. Even if it’s not a formal, sit down dinner. If it is a sit-down dinner, it is even more important. Otherwise, the host will have to rush around configuring an extra place setting, rearranging the current table setting and pretty much figure out how to make it work on the fly. It’ll be awkward. And that extra, uninvited guest will feel awkward, too. Nobody wants that.
DO thank the host before you leave.
No explanation needed here. That’s just good manners.