It’s that time of year when your social life is robust with a Christmas party cocktail here, a dinner party there. Will you be hosting this season, or attending? Whatever the case, there are certain rules that should be followed for a holiday party, or any time of the year. Here, lists our do’s and don’ts.

DO: If you are hosting the party, walk around and ensure you have introduced each guest to each other. Open the dialogue by saying the name of the guest, how you know each other, and then pay a lovely compliment. The term “mingling” doesn’t just happen on its own; help kick-start the conversations.

DON’T: Wait for guests to introduce each other to themselves. It gives the impression you have forgotten a person’s name. Very embarrassing.

DO: Let your guests keep their shoes on. Even though outside may be teeming with snow and slush, there is nothing worse than wearing your sparkly holiday heels only to be told you have to remove them at the party. It’s very tacky. The men might be ok with it, but you would be hard-pressed to find one woman who would be.

DON’T: Spend the entire time in the kitchen. Your guests aren’t just coming to your party to feast on the delectable hors d’oeurves and vintage wines; they’re there to see you too. Entertain. Enjoy their company and try your best to have meaningful conversations with all of them.

More holiday party etiquette do’s and dont’s on the next page…

Holiday-party-etiquette-pg-2.jpgDO: Always (always) show up to a party with a host gift. People are inviting you into their home, their personal space. It’s a gesture of gratitude (and class) to show up with a beautiful gift to thank them. You don’t have to spend a fortune on something; instead, think of the personality of the host and buy your gift based on that, whether it a quirky book, bouquet of exquisite flowers or a batch of homemade cookies.

DON’T: Drink too much. This goes for the host, or the attendee. We understand that the holidays are all about making merry-merry, but that doesn’t give permission to lose all sense of social grace. Limit yourself to two drinks for the evening. Your head – and your conscious – will thank you in the morning.

DO: RSVP for the party, if asked on the invite. It’s a minor courtesy and only takes a second out of your day to check the “yes” box. Somehow, none of ever manage to be able to do it.

DON’T: Play party games. Enough said.

DO: Compliment the host’s efforts in making the party enjoyable. Ask for the recipe of a dish you loved, comment on their festive décor, or the music they’ve selected. Each detail of their gathering is likely one they stewed over all week and they will appreciate the fact you’ve noticed.

DON’T: Kick out your guests when you feel the party is over. Instead, list the hours people can come visit on the invite so they’re aware when they can come, and when they’re expected to go. That way you avoid the lone, 2am straggler dancing to no music in your living room.

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