Holiday Party etiquette is important, whether you're hosting the party or attending it. At any holiday party, whether it's for Christmas, Valentine's Day, or Guy Fawkes Day – anything – there are certain things you can/should do … and certain things you definitely shouldn't. If you're going to be attending a holiday party soon, then take a look at these important do's and don'ts, so you'll know how to behave!
1 Do: Dress Appropriately
Of course you want to look pretty (or handsome!) when you attend a holiday party, and that's perfectly acceptable! Get yourself a gorgeous party frock and go to town, making sure that it's appropriate for the occasion, i.e., for an office party, a casual affair, or a formal cocktail party.
2 Don't: Opt for Holiday-Themed Attire
Unless this is the theme, stay away from light-up reindeer sweat shirts or blinding Santa sweaters. I know they can be fun, and if it's something like a school party for the kids or, like say, a themed party, go for it. But if it's the kind of party where even casual dress attire is required, just leave them in the drawer. And actually, talk to your kid before wearing them to school parties, too – it's just common grade school courtesy!
3 Do: Mingle
One of my favorite things to do at a holiday party is to get to know the other guests. Getting to know friends of friends so you can make new acquaintances is always fun. You should definitely try to mingle, even if you're hosting the party – get to know your friends' plus-ones a whole lot better!
4 Don't: Air Grievances
That being said, this is not the time to let your friend know why you don't like her BFF, or to talk to your best guy friend about how much you hate his wife. Not only is it rude, but it's bound to get embarrassing for everyone involved, not to mention the people who have to watch it.
5 Do: Eat What You Want
Dieting or watching what you eat during the holidays are both common, but while attending a holiday party, feel free to go a little lax. You can sample the cookies or the tiramisu, indulge in a cheeseball (look, cream cheese in a ball is delicious!), or nosh on your favorite hors d'oeuvres. Don't feel guilty! However...
6 Don't: Induce a Food Coma
Don't sample so much that you end up in a total food coma. It's not even that you don't want to eat that much publicly – when I'm at a party with friends, I don't mind if they see me stuffing my face. Well, to an extent. However, you don't want to be so stuffed you can't speak or, worse, deal with tummy troubles while you're at a festive event. Ouch!
7 Do: Relax Your Inhibitions
If you're attending a casual or friendly holiday party, even if it's the office party, it's totally okay to loosen up and have fun! Be a little fancy, indulge in some friendly (but appropriate) flirtation if that's your thing, chase your friends with some mistletoe – it's all good!
8 Don't: Hit on Inappropriate People
It is not good to hit on people you shouldn't be hitting on, though. Don't get too serious with the mistletoe or too TMI with the boss's wife or your coworker's husband or anything. And speaking of inhibitions, try to avoid any kind of behavior that can end with you wearing a lampshade as a hat while you dance on top of a table.
9 Do: Enjoy a Drink
Drinking during a holiday party is totally acceptable – if you enjoy drinking, of course. A little wine, a glass of champagne, a mug of spiked eggnog – enjoy! Just remember, all things in moderation; you don't want to get sloppy drunk in front of people you respect. Furthermore...
10 Don't: Chug Eggnog
No drinking contests! Seriously, even if you're just hanging out with friends, you don't want to get completely blotto at a party. You never know what might happen, but if it's bad, it's pretty much guaranteed you'll be able to see it on Facebook the next day.
If you've committed any of these don'ts or neglected any of these do's, don't worry – it's okay! Just keep them in mind for your next holiday party. I promise, more than one of us has committed a few holiday party faux pas, myself included. That's totally okay – but now that you know, you can incorporate what you've learned! What's the best – and worst – holiday party you've ever attended?
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