The holiday season is sprinkled with fun holiday parties almost every weekend, and while we’ve all attended too many to count, we may not all understand the rulebook on how to conduct ourselves. It’s easy to get carried away when drinking with family and friends we haven’t seen in awhile, but that doesn’t mean we can simply throw our manners out the window. There’s a specific set of dos and don’ts to justify you’re actions when you’re surrounded by red and green, mistletoe, long-lost friends and relatives and drinks… lots and lots of drinks.
DO: Wear something festive, but DON’T: go overboard.
Wearing red and green is acceptable. Wearing an ugly but funny sweater is acceptable. Decorating your shirt with bows, wearing jingle bells and Christmas themed jewelry and headbands is taking things a little too far.
DO: Be considerate in your gift giving.
If you have a new baby niece or nephew, pick up a little stuffed animal to give them when you meet. If your cousin just got accepted to their favorite college, buy them something school spirited or something they can use in their dorm room. Don’t hand your secret Santa an envelope with a gift card inside it. Gift cards are boring.
DO: Win the award for “Best Chef.”
If you’re going to a party where you’re bringing some sort of entrée or appetizer, make it something amazing. Chips and salsa? I don’t think so. Make it something your friends or family will be begging you to bring for every get together from now on.
DO: Something selfless.
Splurge a little this holiday season and donate to your favorite charity. Help out or donate to the local food bank. Throw some spare change in a homeless man’s cup. This is a time for spreading cheer and helping those in need. No Grinches allowed.
DON’T: Be the drunkest girl (or guy) at the party.
It’s a time to let loose and a time to have fun, but there’s no reason for you to be tripping over your own feet and slurring your words around people you probably haven’t seen in a few months. This isn’t a frat party. And no matter how drunk you are, it’s never acceptable to hit on your cousins… even if they are third cousins, twice removed.
DON’T: Forget your family’s names.
For some reason it’s acceptable for your great aunts and uncles to forget your name, but if you forget theirs it’s the end of the world. So do a little research in the family photo albums before you go or ask around before you go and greet “no-name” over there. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen your Great Aunt Martha in two years, you cannot forget her name.
DON’T: Sneeze on the food.
It’s freezing out there and it’s easy to catch a cold, so drink your orange juice, take your vitamins and make sure you’re getting your recommended eight hours. Nobody likes the person that’s sniffling and sneezing constantly. Just, try to stay healthy… for everyone’s sake.
DON’T: Be inconsiderate.
There’s no need to rush out of there as soon as you get the chance. Hang back and have some meaningful, after-dinner conversations. Offer to clean up by taking your plates into the kitchen and picking up stray wrapping paper and ribbons. Hug everyone hello and goodbye, and promise to stay in touch. It’s the holiday season and Santa’s watching. Nobody wants to wake up to coal in their stockings.