Holiday etiqutte tips


Jacqueline WhitmoreAvoid sticky situations this holiday season with tips from Jacqueline Whitmore. The internationally-recognized etiquette expert and author of the new book, Poised for Success, will give you the low-down on dress codes, E-vites and more!
  • If one of your guests brings a bottle of wine or something special to eat, such as nuts, chocolates, etc., consider it a gift (a hostess gift) to be enjoyed at a later date or on a special occasion. 
  • If you know ahead of time that a guest is a vegetarian, you might want to prepare a couple more vegetable side dishes.  There is no need to make a separate entrée for her.   
  • It is the guest’s responsibility to alert the host ahead of time if you don’t eat certain foods for ethical, medical, or religious reasons. 
  • If you are hosting a last-minute party during the holidays, it’s faster to send invitations via email or Facebook, but don’t expect a huge response.  Remember that the more formal a party is the more formal the invitation must be.  And the most formal invitations are sent via the postal service.  
  • If you have to cancel, do it as soon as your plans change and do it by phone or in person.  It’s considered poor form to cancel via email or to forget to cancel altogether.   
  • It puts the host in an awkward situation if you ask to bring an uninvited guest or worse, your kids.  If you are unable to find a sitter or change pre-existing plans, graciously bow out, and if the host insists that you bring your guest or kids, then you may do so.  
  • It’s always good etiquette to send a handwritten thank-you note within 24-48 hours after attending a party.  At the very least, call the host the next day and say “thank you.” 
  • Great gift ideas include a bottle fine wine (if the person drinks alcohol), a plant or a bouquet of flowers, gourmet chocolates, brownies, or nuts, scented candles, a handmade gift or personalized cocktail napkins with the host’s initials.  
  • Apologize and turn off your cell phone if you hear it ring.  If the call is important and you must take it, excuse yourself, step outside the room, and take the call in private, and remember to keep the call brief. 
  • Dress codes can be tricky (and confusing).  If you’re just not sure what to wear, call the host and say, “What will most people be wearing to your event?”