10 Holiday Party Etiquette Tips… Do’s and Don’ts

holiday party etiquetteWe probably all have a party story to tell—one where things went very wrong because of something an invited guest did or did not do. Hopefully, you’ve never been in the role of the unthinking party guest! To get you ready for a season of festive gatherings, here is a list of 10 holiday party etiquette tips so you can be a great guest.

1. Do pace yourself with your alcohol consumption if you’re party hopping. You don’t want to be the guest spoken about the next day because of some avoidable antics that started with a little too much to drink at the first party, culminating in definitely too much to drink at the next one. In all the frivolity, it’s easy to lose track. Have a plan for moderation.

2. Don’t come empty-handed to a dinner party. Bring a bottle of wine and a small hostess gift. Although a big bouquet of flowers might appear to be generous, a small bouquet that can easily be placed in a Mason jar is a lot easier to handle for a busy hostess. Or bring a potted plant.

3. Do be prepared in case the host of the party has a no-shoe rule and forgot to mention it. Just in case, get a pedicure if you come sockless in your pretty party shoes. Or if you’re wearing boots with socks, make sure you’re wearing a pair that you’re happy to show off.

4. Don’t arrive to a dinner party with hunger pangs. You don’t know when the hostess will have food ready and you most definitely don’t want to drink on an empty stomach. It’s always good insurance to eat a little something before you go. A piece of fruit and some nuts or half a sandwich could help you get by until dinnertime.

5. Do put effort into having a party-ready outfit that shows respect and honors the dress code if there is one. Plan it well in advance of the party so you aren’t doing any last minute panic shopping or worse yet, calling the hostess and canceling because you think you have nothing to wear.

6. Don’t arrive late to a dinner party. The host or hostess has a set time frame for when they would like to serve the meal. Don’t keep them waiting. If the party format is an open house, your arrival time isn’t as critical. But showing up at the last minute is tacky. You may think your entrance goes unnoticed, but it doesn’t.

7. Do keep your fragrances to a minimum. Not everyone loves your perfume or cologne. In fact, some people are allergic to fragrance. Be mindful of the other guests and consider going without them altogether.

8. Don’t wipe lipstick off using your host’s linen napkins. Consider wearing a lip stain instead of a lipstick. Or have some tissues in your purse or pocket. Use them to dab your lips before they touch the linens. You can always reapply later in the powder room.

9. Do offer your assistance if you bring a complicated dish or dessert to share. Help serve your dessert if presentation is especially important to you. Don’t make this the job of the hostess.

10. Don’t be the guest that never goes home. Unless you are staying the night at the host’s house, when the party is dwindling down, think about your exit plan and execute it in a timely fashion.

As always, I welcome your feedback! You can connect with me via telephone or email, leave a comment right here on the site, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Looking for a great way to spend a lunch hour? Here are 2 upcoming January event times! I look forward to seeing you there!

Livingroom Lunch & Learn 2015


When: Monday January 19 or Thursday January 22 11:30 to 1 pm
Where: 3 Highland Terrace, Bradford
Cost: $40.00 incl. HST
RSVP required

Limited to 8 women so reserve your place! Please let me know if you have food allergies or restrictions.

For more information on these sessions, please click here.

Have a Happy and Safe Holiday season,


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