It’s sad but I’ve hosted many events where there is someone who behaves so poorly that I make a note never to invite them back.  I still have some folks whom I don’t speak to due to their rudeness at my son’s wedding, and that was over 3 years ago!  During the upcoming holiday season many of us will find ourselves guests at various holiday functions.  Whether it be Thanksgiving dinner with family, an office Christmas party, or a friend’s New Year’s Eve bash it is important to behave appropriately and considerately.  You don’t want to be the guest everyone remembers for obnoxious behavior or the one whose outrageous antics will be talked about for years to come.  Most importantly you’ll probably want to be invited back soon.

Here are a few tips on party etiquette that should ensure you don’t go home with a bad rep!

1.  Always acknowledge a party invitation!  Whether it be a formal written invitation to a wedding or an informal call asking you over for a neighborhood barbeque, let the host know if you will be attending.  If the invitation comes with an RSVP card mail it back by the due date, if it’s an informal call or email respond appropriately with a call, text, or email.  Your host needs to know how many people to expect so he can prepare accordingly.

2.  If you accepted an invitation but must cancel do so as soon as possible.  If you are sick don’t spread your germs, stay home and call in your regrets.

3.  Arrive promptly.  There is no such thing as “stylishly late”.  If you are going to be unavoidedly late, more than 10-15 minutes, call your hostess and let her know you’re running late and when you expect to arrive.  If you are going to be more than an hour late, call and let them know you’ve had an emergency and will not be able to attend.  Unless the event is an “open house” where times are between certain hours, do not arrive a couple of hours late and expect to be served a hot meal!

4.  Dress appropriately!  You don’t wear your ballgown or tux to a backyard barbeque and you don’t wear shorts or jeans to a formal affair.

5.  Practice good personal hygiene and grooming.  There is no excuse for sloppiness and uncleanliness.  You don’t want to everyone to endure an evening breathing offensive odors.

6.  Unless you’ve been invited to a pot-luck leave your famous pasta casserole at home.  You may ask your hostess if there is something you can bring to her party, but if she says no thank you don’t insist on bringing your award winning dish, it may not fit in with her themed menu.  If you must bring your famous dish or dessert package it as a hostess gift and present it to your hostess as something she can enjoy later, don’t insist it be served immediately.

7.  Enjoy the food, drinks, and company, but don’t overindulge.  No one wants to hear or smell offensive bodily sounds.  And do not get stinking drunk and act stupid.  It’s a sure bet if you do either you will not be invited back.

8.  Act sociably, friendly, and appropriately.  Don’t get into loud debates or arguments with other guests even if you’re passionate about a topic.  Sure you’re entitled to your opinions, but there is a time and place for everything.  An office party is probably not the right place to loudly voice your political or religious views which ever side of the aisle you’re on.   Acting inappropriately at office functions may cause you to be passed over for that promotion you’ve been hoping for!

9.  Mind your manners and respect your environment.  If the meal is served buffet style don’t pile your plate with the delicious seafood dish, take a serving and leave some for other guests, you may be able to go for seconds later.  Use cocktail napkins or coasters when placing drinks on tables.  Try not to spill that red wine on your host’s white carpet, if you do let the host know immediately so that it can be dealt with as soon as possible.  If you use the bathroom be neat about it, don’t leave it messy and nasty for the next person.  Do not start packing food to take home unless your hostess offers you the opportunity at the end of the party.  There is no excuse for rudeness.

10.  Bring an appropriate hostess gift, it’s always a nice gesture.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, a small token will do.  Here are a few suggestions that may get you invited back.

Thanksgiving Spice Kit is a  nice gift for the holiday season by The Mixing Bowl Kids. You can add a recipe card with a recipe for using the spices.

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This yummy Marinated Feta Cheese from Dabbles and Babbles makes a great gift your hostess can enjoy later.  Present it in a pretty jar as shown or a Mason Jar with a nice ribbon.

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Rosemary infused sea salt from Valley & CoLifestyle is inexpensive and easy to make, and your hostess will love it!

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This Lemonade Kit from The Idea Room would make a great hostess gift for a backyard barbeque!

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Your hostess will love this Dinner in a Jar by Play. Party. Pin.  She’ll probably be tired after entertaining and won’t want to make dinner the next day, she can enjoy it then!

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Every hostess will love this Spruced up cutting board by Sugar and Charm.  

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How about homemade Limoncello by The Happier Homemaker.  

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If you don’t have time to make anything a nice bottle of wine is always a great gift.  Make it special by wrapping it in a nice dish towel like the one shown here by Cotton & Flax.

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