The Emily Post Post
Everything about this time of year makes me want to walk around with a mistletoe (one kississippi…two kississippi…three kississippi) while humming the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in my head and throwing confetti in the air. Needless to say, I love the holidays! The food, the gifts and the glamor all make me want to squeal with glee.
As we vastly approach the holidays and your holiday party invites begin rolling in, I thought it would be fitting to remind everyone of proper holiday party planning and attending etiquette:
As the hostess:
- Plan ahead. There is nothing more alarming than getting a last minute invite to attend a holiday function. Eek! If you are thinking of putting together a soiree this holiday season, plan your event well in advance, giving your potential guest enough time to decide if they can attend. Consider sending out invites for Thanksgiving in late September or early October. Christmas invitations should be done no later than mid-October. New Year’s invites can be sent out mid to late November.
- Make it easy. While this is a wonderful time of year it can also be frustrating and overwhelming for many. Families often find their time stretched trying to attend multiple events during the season. When planning an event, map out all the details for you guest to make their attendance as seem less as possible. Include the date, time, location, parking accommodations and directions to your event. If you are planning a function that requires a specific dress code, note that on your invitation.
- Be considerate. Start your event on time. If you are planning an event that small children will be attending, don’t end your event too late into the night.
- Be gracious. As the hostess it’s your responsibility to make your guests feel comfortable and welcomed at your event. Create an atmosphere that is warm and inviting. Be sure to spend time mingling with all of your guests and let them know how much you appreciate their attendance.
As the guest:
- Don’t overbook. If you commit to an event in advance and are later invited to another event on the same day at the same time, respectfully decline the latter invitation. Double booking an event stretches your time and is offensive to both parties.
- Be on time. When invited to an event, be sure to arrive on time. There is nothing more frustrating for an event planner to prep all the food, have the music cued and the appetizers and drinks ready to go only to learn that none of her guests have arrived. The food reheating game is not a fun one to play.
- Leave on time. When the drinks stops flowing, the food stops being served and the hostess starts cleaning up, that’s your cue to exit stage left. Don’t over stay your welcome.
- Be considerate. As a guest you should follow the dress code and other instructions outlined on your invite. Also, bringing the hostess a gift is a great way of showing your appreciation. Not sure what to bring for the hostess? A suggested list of gifts can be found here.
- Be gracious. Keep away from conversation with other party-goers that could be taken as offensive. If someone says something that offends you, politely end the conversation and walk away.
- Drink responsibly. Holiday parties and events often mean free liquor. As a guest, know your drinking limitations. If you are too drunk to drive home, notify your hostess so that she can make proper arrangements for you. Never offer alcohol to minors.
Eat, drink and be fabulous!