Holiday party etiquette
13 December 2018 LIFESTYLE
By Nomali Cele
There’s a reason it’s called the “festive” season: People are celebrating as much as they can and getting together with loved ones as much as possible. If you are lucky enough to be included in a holiday party (or several) as a guest, there are a few things to remember to make party season easier on the hosts. Holiday party etiquette can vary depending on the occasion but these six tips are evergreen and will ensure you have the best holiday party season.
Be on time
This is basic but arrive when you’re supposed to. Don’t be too early as this may frazzle the host who will likely be in the final stages of preparing for the holiday party. Unless you have that kind of relationship with the hosts, arriving early and offering to help will unlikely be received well.
On the other side of the spectrum, don’t arrive too late. Not only is it disrespectful of the host’s time, but it can also throw the whole holiday party off-kilter.
Respect the RSVP
While most holiday part hosts can forgive being one guest short, it’s usually there opposite that happens: People bring guests for whom the host didn’t budget. This not only creates awkwardness in terms of having uninvited guests around but it also means the host then needs to run around creating extra space, food and more to accommodate your extra people. Don’t be that person.
Unless it’s an office party where your employer is footing the bill, the polite thing to do is to always bring something to help your hosts! Be it something to drink (which they can keep for themselves later) or something you and the other guests can snack on as the party begins but while the food is not ready. Honour the invite especially if it explicitly states to bring your own drinks.
Help clean up
There are fewer things more dreadful than the morning after a holiday party, or a party of any kind. The clean up for the hosts is always deflating. You can help your friends by getting involved with the cleanup mission. Either clean as the party goes, which can be easy to do: Pick up any discarded bottles and cans as they accumulate. Or clean after the party before you head home. Yes, your host will have cleaning up to do the next morning but not as much if you help out the night before.
Leave them wanting more
Knowing when to leave is the most underrated social grace; not many people possess it, which can make things very awkward. Yawning and other social cues from your host aside, set yourself a good time to leave. You can measure the time by either giving yourself the exact time you want to spend at the party or a curfew by which you want to be back home.
The festive season is notorious for road accidents, many of which happen after an evening well-spent at a holiday party. Have a cab company on speed-dial or a designated driver. The latter is someone tasked with remaining sober throughout the party and dropping you off at home safely. Your safety matters.
Do you have holiday party etiquette tips? Share them using #KayaOnline.