December 16th, 2013

Be the World’s Best Guest: Holiday Party Etiquette Tips

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Amidst the holiday chaos, it’s important to remember common courtesies to stay in the good graces of your friends and colleagues. Follow these tips to be the world’s most wonderful party guest, whether the party is hosted at an office, restaurant or home.

RSVP promptly. As soon as you receive an invitation, respond to the host to inform them if you’ll be in attendance.

Attend the party. Once you accept an invitation, always show up. The one exception is in the case of a personal emergency. In that situation, you should immediately let your host know you won’t be able to attend.

Bring a gift for the host. Show your appreciation through a small gift. Appropriate gifts include a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, or handmade goods. If you bring wine, the host may not serve it as he or she has probably already selected a wine for the party.

Holiday Party Etiquette

Introduce yourself to new people. Mingle and get to know the friends or colleagues of the host. Smile and be friendly to everyone you meet. You never know what new connections you might make. Hold cold drinks in your left hand to avoid clammy handshakes.

Choose foods wisely. Prioritize conversation over hors d’oeuvres. If appetizers are passed, take a small portion. Opt for foods that are simple to eat, won’t easily get stuck in your teeth and won’t cause bad breath. Keep breath mints in your purse or pocket just in case.

Drink in moderation. Of course it is appropriate to have a glass of wine or cocktail at a party, but be sure to keep a sober state of mind. Your behavior will affect how others view you. Don’t risk damaging your reputation by overdrinking.

Dress appropriately. Avoid provocative clothing and choose a professional outfit. If you’re unsure of the dress code, ask the host.

Thank the host. As you leave the party, convey your gratitude. Follow up the next day with either a handwritten thank you note or a phone call.

What are your best holiday party tips?

photo credit: Texas State Library and Archives Commission via photopin cc

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