Holiday Etiquette

23 Dec

Parties and gatherings are upon us! We are traveling, cooking, loving, hugging,shopping, sneaking, peeking, wrapping, and enjoying! At this point we are all around people for days and days, family, coworkers, neighbors, and friends.  As all these functions are happening, let’s be aware of of our behavior.  I am already being reminded of how important it is to maintain a good sense of etiquette in all of these interaction (in my actions as well as those of others around me).

The first tip that comes to mind is this: You go to an office or group party in which everyone is required to bring a gift that will go to anyone at the party.  (As in having a drawing for the gifts or just picking them at random).  At this point, you realize that the gift you recieved is from someone that you don’t like or don’t get along with.  If that is the case, some people would prefer not to keep the gift.  So be it. What is the proper thing to do? Be gracious! Take the gift and thank the person.  What you do with it later is your own business, but be an adult and take it home with a smile and an open mind.  Then later, you can re-gift it (true, I have no problem with that) or sell it on Ebay or donate it to charity.  Do with it what you will, but be reminded that they thought enough to bring a gift to the party.  Also, how would you feel in their shoes? You look over only to see a person with the gift you brought grimacing about having your gift.  No so nice… And for the love of Pete, please do not leave the gift behind.  Take it with you.

Secondly, I will talk about food and drinks.  When you go to a person’s home for a party, they generally will have food and drinks that they have lovingly prepared.  If you see something that does not appeal to you, please do not bring it to the host’s attention.  To tell someone that you are not interested in a particular dish because of the way it looks is completely off the chart inconsiderate.  Pick what you like and eat that instead.  If the host offers you something you don’t want, ploitely decline and say that you would rather have the cookies intead.

Thirdly, if you are invited to an event, bring a small gift for the host.  Be it a bottle of wine, some goodies that you made (cookies, jellies, cheese straws, etc) a pack of cocktail napkins, or whatever.  It is a small way of thanking the host and being gracious.

Holiday dress.  Make sure your outfit is appropriate for the occasion.  Typically around this time of year, the dress is more festive and formal.  The invitation should specify they type of event and attire.  If it doesn’t specify attire, then read between the lines.  Cocktails? Dressy.  Tree trimming? More casual.  Dinner and drinks? Definitely a slacks or dress type of event..  When all else fails, call the host and ask what they would like you to wear.  He or she will be able to set the tone for you easily. Please folks, leave the tennis shoes at home.

I will close with this adivce.  Be flexible.  Most likely, everyone has multiple places to be right around Christmas.  Don’t get bent out of shape if  everyone can’t be there right at the same time.  Look at all the options and see what works for everyone.  This is not an appropriate time to be demanding of someone’s time.  State your request and work it out.  Spending time with each other is a gift in itself.

Have a safe and happy holiday.  Share your love.

Anything you would like to add to this short list? Please do!

Cheers and hugs! Olivia

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Posted by on December 23, 2011 in Life


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