Lessons from An Etiquette Expert Part 1: The Gracious Holiday Guest
Holiday season is here, folks. And you know what that means: holiday parties. We are excited to attend these thousands of parties (have we mentioned that we like to party?), but we also want to make sure that we’re doing it right. So, we checked in with our etiquette guru Myka Meier for some tips for this holiday season. Here is part one of our two part series, Myka’s tips on how to be a perfect guest.
The perfect time to arrive for a holiday party is 5-20 minutes after the invitation time. Never arrive early, as the host or hostess is probably preparing last minute touches and will be caught off guard. When you arrive, offer to help in any way you can.
Never arrive empty handed – Bring a small gift like seasonal chocolates, a gorgeous candle or monogrammed cocktail napkins. One common hostess gift you should never bring…flowers! While flowers are a gorgeous gesture, when you walk into the home of the host or hostess and hand them flowers, they have to leave their guests to go find a vase to display them, when they should be focusing on welcoming and greeting the other guests!
Dress to impress – It’s likely your host or hostess has spent hours preparing for their party. Mirror their effort and show respect and enthusiasm.
If there is a dinner, wait until you are asked to sit. There may be a seating chart already planned! Absolutely no phones at the table. If the dinner is at a home, do not put your napkin in your lap until the host/hostess does (which should essentially be as soon as they sit). Otherwise, it will appear you are over eager and may rush the host.
The napkin is laid in your lap folded in half, with the crease facing you.
If you are wearing lipstick, be sure to drink from the same place on the glass each time in order to not create a very unappetizing “lipstick ring” around the glass.
Thank You Letters
Thank you letters are key! Within two days of the day, a handwritten thank you letter in the mail is a gorgeous way of thanking your host for the lovely party.