Tis the season for holiday parties! Whether you are a host or receive an invitation, knowing how to conduct yourself will make the gathering merrier. Here are a few tips that will help you sparkle!
Be a Fabulous Guest
• When you receive an invitation, reply as soon as possible. This shows the host respect and gives them time to plan accordingly. Please do not just show up without notification (you may just get the “side-eye”). If you have any dietary restrictions this is also a good time to inform the host (please do not give the host a list of foods for your personal weight loss regimen).
• Christmas is the season for giving, so it would be very thoughtful to bring the host a “happy” (gift of appreciation). Gift ideas can range from holiday scented candles, a tree or table ornament, movie or restaurant gift cards, holiday basket, a picture frame, or a homemade dessert. If possible, find out what the host likes.
• Avoid the hungry syndrome – Do not overload your plate during the party. Be moderate when eating and drinking. When eating hors d’oeuvres, use a spoon to put sauces on your plate; please do not double dip foods. Also, inform the host immediately if you spill something, apologize, and offer to assist in cleaning or offer to pay a cleaning service – if needed.
• If you are attending a party that consists of several guests and the host does not greet you at the door, find him/her immediately to say “hello”. Before exiting the party, make sure you give the host a farewell and express thanks for the invitation.
• Send a handwritten thank-you note after the party. (Handwritten notes are simply more personalized).
Be the Perfect Host
• To help avoid mental chaos, finalize all party details (décor, music, food, entertainment) at least 25 minutes before your guest arrive. Be prepared to give greetings to all guests at the door with a welcoming smile; please avoid greeting them with a tired look. Introduce guest to one another; say something that will spark a conversation amongst them.
• Please, do not make your guest remove their shoes.
• If you have pets, make arrangements for them out of consideration for guest with pet allergies and animal fears.
• Be available to mingle with guest. This may require you to hire help or have assistants to replenish foods and beverages.
• Do not place scented candles by the food; the scent can interfere with the wonderful food fragrance. Also, if serving buffet style, place food description cards by each dish.
Office Holiday Parties
Office parties are bound to happen during the holidays. It is essential to remain professional; however, it is okay to “let your hair down.” Keep in mind you are attending a company event and you never know who is watching. To help maintain a polished reputation, here are a few tips.
• Have appropriate attire for the occasion. Choose attire that reflects the season. It is okay for men to pull out that holiday tie. Ladies, you may wear that festive, new dress; just make sure you are not revealing too much.
• Enjoy the holiday cheer; avoid too much business talk, especially if clients are in attendance. Some conversations topics can include – travel plans, sharing holiday recipes, holiday concerts and plays, and current events. Be sure to avoid controversial topics and negative comments about other employees and the event.
• Avoid excessive drinking; nonalcoholic beverages are okay.
• Express appreciativeness to the planning committee and the management team for hosting the party before you leave.
Whether you are a host, invited guest, or attending an office holiday party, the most essential thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy mingling with friends and family. Do not be negative or attend just to indulge on food and beverages; meet new people and enjoy the festivities!