Well, that time is almost upon us again. The time where we are invited to countless holiday functions! Whether it’s an office party, a friend’s house party or you are the hostess of the party, there are some rules of etiquette to follow. Here you will find some tips, some are old fashioned but always important, and some are new additions… hint, hint… no cell phones please! I hope you find these helpful as we enter the busiest time of the year.
TIPS TO BEING A GOOD HOST(ESS)
1. MAKE THE INVITE CLEAR. Have all necessary information right on the invitation. Let your guests know if this is a casual party or a more formal affair. Nothing is worse than coming under dressed. Over dressed is okay though!
2. PLAN WELL. Don’t try a new recipe on your guests. Plan the menu using dishes that are tried and true and you know your guests will love. Get everything ready before your guests arrive so you can relax and socialize a bit.
3. REMAIN CALM. Making sure the atmosphere is relaxed is essential in making sure your guests are having a good time. You never want them to feel like they are putting you out and making your stress levels rise. If someone offers help and you truly need it, accept!
4. MAKE YOUR GUESTS FEEL WELCOME. Welcome your guests as soon as they arrive but don’t stop there. Make sure they have drinks and no one is standing alone throughout the party.
5. BE FLEXIBLE AND GRACIOUS. Make sure you have a backup if your dessert or any other important dish fails. If a guest brings someone you weren’t expecting, be gracious and welcome them to your party.
6. BE APPRECIATIVE. Always, always, always say thank you to each and every guest as they are leaving. And if someone brought you a gift, don’t forget to thank them for that as well.
TIPS TO BEING A GOOD GUEST
1. RSVP. Let the host(ess) know right away if you will be attending their party. Even if no RSVP was indicated it is always polite to let them know. Do it promptly so it doesn’t seem like you are waiting for something better to come along.
2. BE PROMPT. There is nothing more rude than being late. Arrive on time or no more than 15 minutes after the specified time however, do not arrive early, unless you are going to help!
3. BE A WILLING PARTICIPANT. If you are asked to join a party game or look at family photos, do so graciously. When dinner is announced go straight to the table.
4. OFFER TO HELP. If you’re visiting the host(ess) in the kitchen offer to help by doing something specific. “May I help you put that salad together?” If you just ask, “Can I help?” the host(ess) is more than likely going to say “Oh, no, that’s okay!” It’s always thoughtful to help tidy up towards the end of the party, even if it’s just bringing in the dishes from the dining room to the kitchen area.
5. DON’T OVERINDULGE. You don’t want to look like you haven’t eaten in a week and you also don’t want to be known as the one who got drunk either! Keep eating and drinking to a moderate level.
6. GIVE YOUR THANKS… TWICE. Obviously, you will always say thank you when you leave a party but it is always thoughtful to send a hand written note along to your host(ess) telling them what a lovely time you had.
There are many more ways to be a wonderful host(ess) and guest but a very important one and one that I hope goes without saying…. LEAVE THE CELL PHONE IN THE CAR!
If you have any other ideas I’d love to hear them so leave a comment! Enjoy the 2014 holiday season!