Greet The Hosts With A Gift
When you arrive, greet the host(s) using their name. Then, hand off your gift and thank them for inviting you. Some classic party host gifts include a nice bottle of wine/scotch, a box of chocolates, or flowers and a card. Or, you could opt for something unusual or whimsical, as it’s a great conversation starter! If you choose to bring any food or drinks for the party itself, check with the host beforehand and make sure they don’t already have a similar dish planned!
Be Gracious and Mingle With Guests
If you are attending a party where you only know the host, don’t bank on them keeping you company all night. They will likely be busy refilling drinks, restocking food, and tending to their guests. So, try your best to not stand in the corner, looking like a serial killer, waiting for someone else to approach you. Odds are, you’ll miss out on some interesting conversations and wish you’d taken the initiative to introduce yourself – especially to the cute one who somehow makes a tacky Christmas sweater look…good? A simple, “Hi! I don’t think we’ve met before. My name is ________!” will suffice.
Assess the Vibes
Holiday parties can range from black tie events to straight-up costume parties. If the host didn’t mention it in the invite, ask if there is a dress code or theme a few days before the party. When you actually get to the party, keep track of how many drinks you’ve had compared to other guests. It’s never a good look to be the drunkest at a party – but if everyone’s taking shots and having a good time, then, hey, take a bath in the spiced sangria for all we care.
Offer Timely Help
Cleaning up while making a mess is truly the easiest way to reduce the post-clean-up burden. If you notice a spill, even if it isn’t yours, fetch a damp paper towel and wipe down the area. If you spot the host frantically doing three things at once, ask them what you can do to help. Accidents are more likely to happen when people are stressed, and the last thing the host wants is for a disaster to occur. Even if they decline, the host will appreciate your consideration. And, as always, clean up after yourself.
Leave at an Appropriate Time
Stay aware of your surroundings so you know when it’s your cue to leave the party. A few tell-tale signs that the party is well into its “winding-down phase” are when the music has been turned down, the booze has run out, half the guests are gone and the other half is calling a ride home, or the host and their spouse are bickering in the kitchen…awkward! What’s even more awkward is lingering around until the host has no choice but to ask you to leave. So, kindly thank them once again for inviting you, tell them your favorite part of the evening, and wish them a happy holiday.
If you plan on consuming alcohol this holiday season, never drink and drive. Ride-share apps, like Uber and Lyft, typically offer discounted trips around the holidays to ensure everyone can afford to get home safely.