The time has come again for Holiday parties, and casual and formal gathering of friends and loved ones. So here is a little etiquette 101 for ya before you head out to your BFF, Grandma's, mother in law, etc.
- Be Punctual where guests freely come and go), punctuality is not much of an issue. However, for more formal events (like dinner parties), guests should arrive within fifteen minutes of the time specified on the invite.
- Avoid Showing Up Early - By the same token, make sure you don't show up too early; as the host hastily takes care of last-minute preparations, you are likely to become more of a hindrance than a help.
- Don’t Bring Along the Uninvited – It’s considered extremely rude to show up with an uninvited guest in tow, so only bring a guest if the invitation requests you do so. Make sure you RSVP for your guest as well also the host can get an accurate head count.
- Say Hello – Seek out the host of the party to say hello within ten minutes of your arrival. Also, don’t be shy! Be courteous and say hello to other guests while mingling.
- Arrive Bearing Gifts – It may seem a bit old-fashioned but it’s never inappropriate to bring something for the host. Not only does it help offset the cost of the party, a gift illustrates your appreciation for being invited. Generally speaking, the more lavish and elaborate the party, the nicer the gift. If the event is something casual, like a barbeque, bring food or drinks to share – just be sure you find out what is being served first so you don’t upstage the host
- Hold Your Liquor – Even if the wine is flowing freely, avoid drinking too much. Few things are as disrespectful and uncomfortable at a party as a drunk, obnoxious guest, particularly at more elegant affairs.
- Keep Conversation Light – Party conversations should be kept light and casual. Avoid weighty subjects including marriage, religion and serious politics. In a similar vein, avoid gossiping, especially about other party guests. Chances are, word will spread and you could be finger-pointed as the source.
- Gauge Your Exit – If an invitation lists a specific end time, don’t linger much longer – you don’t want to overstay your welcome! If no end time is listed, monitor the other guests and when about half are gone, you should get ready to leave as well.
- Give Proper Thanks – Always thank the host or hostess for throwing a great party before you leave. For more formal events, send a thank-you note within one week of the party.