Ask Erin: Your Holiday Etiquette Refresher Course
by Erin Sharplin Love
The holidays are once again upon us, and we will soon be busy shopping, wrapping, dining, cooking and partying it up! Unfortunately, with all of that busyness can come bad manners and incorrect etiquette. Don’t’ worry, though, this year you can be the most proper and delightful guest by taking my quick holiday etiquette refresher course. Check it out below:
Please, please let your host know if you will be unable to attend their party. If you have ever hosted a party you understand how important guest count is to every aspect of the planning process, so consider that during this holiday season and RSVP as soon as you receive an invitation.
Send real invitations
If you are the one doing the hosting, I suggest sending real, printed invitations instead of relying on Facebook or a website to do the inviting for you. There is just something more personal about receiving a stamped invitation than getting an e-vite. Also, be sure to send the invitation well enough in advance – I suggest at least two weeks.
Handwrite all thank-you notes
Please help keep this tradition alive by writing and sending all thank-you notes as soon as possible after the gift or nice gesture was given. You will be remembered for your perfect etiquette by following this one rule, I promise!
Never arrive empty handed
Always bring a gift for your party host. After all, she has gone to the trouble and expense of creating a fun event for you to enjoy. Here are a few options for host gifts – fresh ground coffee and a cute mug, a soap and lotion set or chocolates!
Be on time, but never early
Never arrive to a party early and never arrive over an hour late. I suggest arriving no more than 15 to 30 minutes after the noted start time of the event. And, of course, never overstay your welcome.
Don’t forget your dining etiquette
Here are a few reminders – Never double dip! Don’t talk with your mouth full. Wipe your fingers before shaking hands. Excuse yourself to reapply lipstick, blow your nose, etc. Don’t pile too much food on your plate. If you spill something, clean it up or tell your host immediately.
Don’t over imbibe
Keep the number of glasses of wine down to a minimum or you may wake up embarrassed.
In other words, don’t dress too scantily. I suggest referring to the invitation to get a clue about what the dress code is. Is the invitation fun and casual, classic and formal, or themed? Typically any event after 6:00 in the evening is more formal than the times before.
Happy, Happy Holidays!!