Between the cleaning and the cooking, it’s a lot of work to put on a holiday party. But it’s not all on the host to make sure the party goes off without a hitch.
As a guest, you have a responsibility, nay… duty to be the best darn party guest you can be. Avoid these crucial mistakes and you’ll be the life of the party:
1. Arriving late
Unless the party is a casual drop-in-drop-out anytime type of deal, be punctual. Your host has gone through the trouble of making sure their guests have everything they need. By arriving late, you’re giving off the vibe that it just isn’t that important – even more so when it’s a dinner party. Fifteen minutes is fashionably late. Any longer than that (barring a substantial traffic delay) and you’re just plain rude.
2. Arriving empty handed
This isn’t the worst thing in the world, but if you’re invited over to someone’s house for a party, the least you can do is bring a gift for the host. By no means should you offer up cold hard cash to offset the cost of hosting the party – you are the guest in this scenario after all. But bringing a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates is a thoughtful gesture and shows your gratitude and appreciation. As a bonus, a bottle of wine can help ensure the night’s libations don’t run out.
3. Staying glued to social media
Guest etiquette 101: unplug when you’re with a crowd. It’s rude enough to be on your phone when you’re with a small group of friends, but when you’re at a holiday party, the last thing you want to do is to suggest that the gathering and the guests aren’t worth your attention. Live in the moment and detach from social media for the evening.
4. Not informing the host of strict dietary restrictions
Unless you’re able to easily find something to eat amongst a smorgasbord of holiday dishes, make sure you inform your host in advance of any severe diet restrictions so they can accommodate you. If it’s too much of a hassle or you don’t want to burden them, then consider bringing something you can eat.
5. Bringing food that requires a lot of extra prep
Not all holiday parties require you to bring any extra food, but for potluck lovers or close friends, bringing some appetizers may be the cost of admission. If you do bring food to a party, make sure it’s already cooked or requires minimal extra attention. Don’t bring anything you have to tear their kitchen apart to make – your hosts don’t need the extra work. Ready-to-eat foods or ones that just need a quick trip in the oven are your safest bets this holiday.
6. Relying on your host to do all the entertaining
A one-way conversation doesn’t work in a one-on-one situation and it definitely doesn’t work at a party. Engage with other guests as well as your host by being a part of the conversation, not just a bystander. It helps to put your host at ease knowing that they don’t have to create all the conversation on top of everything else they’re doing. If you can, offer your to assist in setting up food, games or the karaoke machine.
7. Not thanking your host
The food is eaten, the fun has been had and it’s time to call it a night. When you’re leaving, make sure to graciously thank your host instead of just saying your goodbyes and heading out the door. It’s a lot of work to put on a party, especially around the holidays. By letting your host know how much you appreciated the evening, you are showing them that all the work was worth it. Plus, you might also nail down a spot at next year’s shindig in the process.