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As the holiday season draws near, you’ll probably be receiving invitations to go to parties, or maybe you’re even thinking of hosting one. Either situation requires a special set of manners, and it’s important to be a good guest and/or a good host.

As a party guest…

  • Brush up on basic table manners, especially if it’s a dinner party
  • No talking or texting on your phone. If you need to, step outside to do so.
  • At a sit down dinner, only bring a guest if you are allowed a “plus one.” If it’s a cocktail party, you’re allowed to bring one guest.
  • RSVP’d but can’t make it? Call the host and explain; especially if there’s a place setting for you.
  • As for attire, always be safe by dressing up.
  • While a gift is not required, it’s polite to bring a bottle of wine or a small present to show the host gratitude for inviting you into their home.
  • Don’t drink too much; especially if it’s an office party. Enjoy a drink, then stick to non-alcoholic beverages.
  • If the party was particularly nice, send off a thank-you note the next day. If it was a casual gathering, at least send an email.

As a party host…

  • Make sure the house is clean. Go the extra mile, your guests will notice and appreciate it.
  • Not hosting the party at your house? Make sure the venue is appropriate for your guests and the type of party you’re throwing.
  • If the party is going late, and guests aren’t ready to leave, ask a close friend or family to help you get things wrapped up. If that doesn’t work, turn down the music and turn up the lights.
  • If you plan a party for your guests to have fun, they will; don’t plan a party to impress.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be the best host and/or party guest this holiday season.