Holiday Party Dos and Don?ts
At this time of the year, your social calendar begins to resemble a railway timetable; so many parties, so little time. In the thick of things, sometimes party protocol gets a little confusing. On one hand, it feels like the situation calls for maximum glitter, glamour and gallivanting. On the other hand, the guests might include your grandmother, future in-laws or your boss. So, how do you strike a balance between properly festive and overly flirty? Here are a few important dos and don’ts to keep in mind when it comes to holiday attire and party etiquette.
Dressing for the occasion
- Think about the event in advance. Is it a friendly, informal gathering? An after work cocktail party? A pull-out-all-the-stops formal dinner? Each party style comes with its own dress code. If the room is filled with silk and velvet, you don’t want to show up in jeans and a sweater. But, if you’re the only one in a crimson satin sheath amidst a denim and Gore-Tex crowd, the holiday it will feel like is Halloween. Office party? Leave daring décolletage dé·colle·tage
1. A low neckline on a woman's garment, especially a dress.
2. A dress with a low neckline in front. and spike heels in the closet and opt for a more professional style.
- Stock up on the basics. The little black dress, that Swiss army knife of fashion, is one of your best holiday friends. By itself, it’s the star of a swank cocktail party and holds its own at a formal dinner. Add a tailored jacket for more corporate chic. A silk or satin camisole camisole /cam·i·sole/ (kam´i-sol) [Fr.] straitjacket; a jacketlike device for restraining the limbs, particularly the arms, of a violently disturbed patient. , in red or black, makes the perfect topping for a dark skirt or pants. Again, add a jacket for office gatherings.
- Work your accessories. Dress up your look with a single holiday show-stopper –- a pair of chandelier earrings, a gem pendant, a strand of pearls, colorful bangles, a beaded or metallic handbag or a designer scarf. It’s a simple, effective way to up your glamour ante without taking it over the top.
- Channel your inner Paris Hilton Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism. . Save your sexist little party dress for New Year’s Eve. Backless frocks and plunging necklines are the holiday exception not the rule, and should never be worn unless it’s a chi-chi night out with friends. Similarly, don’t overdo it with the makeup and the bling. Oscar night can wait for March.
- Dress like a Christmas tree Christmas tree
Evergreen tree, usually decorated with lights and ornaments, to celebrate the Christmas season. The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands as symbols of eternal life was common among the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. . A little red and green goes a long way and you’re not required to blend in Verb 1. blend in - blend or harmonize; "This flavor will blend with those in your dish"; "This sofa won't go with the chairs"
fit, go - be the right size or shape; fit correctly or as desired; "This piece won't fit into the puzzle" with the party decorations. Skip the flashing Rudolph pin and the Christmas ornament Christmas ornaments are decorations (usually made of glass, metal, wood or ceramics) that are used to festoon a Christmas tree.
Ornaments take many different forms, from a simple round ball to highly artistic designs. earrings, too. They might have been amusing once, but it was sometime during the Reagan administration Noun 1. Reagan administration - the executive under President Reagan
executive - persons who administer the law .
- Have a snack before you get there. A little food in your stomach – even a glass of milk – will help mitigate the effects of your first cup of holiday cheer. Keep nibbling nibbling Nutrition The consumption of multiple–up to 17–'mini-meals' per day, as opposed to the usual 3 meals/day. Cf Bingeing, Gorging. through the evening and pace yourself with the punch.
- Arrive within 20 minutes of the designated hour. Your hosts put a lot of effort into planning the party and late arrivals make things that much more difficult. If you’re invited to a holiday open house, you’re free to come and go as you please, but in all other cases, stick to the time on the invitation and never be the last to leave.
- Bring a gift for the host. It’s the season of giving, after all. Wine or holiday flowers are always welcome, but feel free to choose something more personal if you know them well. Avoid giving food. You can drop off a box of your famous Christmas cookies Christmas cookies are traditionally sugar cookies (though other flavors may be used based on family traditions and individual preferences) cut into various shapes related to Christmas. another time, but you don’t want to make your host feel obliged to add them to the party menu. As a rule, you don’t need to spend more than $20 on any gift.
- Mingle. The art of being a good guest requires you to spread your charm and work the room. This also requires you to keep your conversations reasonable, brief and light. Try to seek out any wallflowers and talk to them. That will earn you extra points from your host.
- Over-pour. The holidays don’t give you a special license to exceed your cocktail limit. Reputations and jobs have been sacrificed on the altar of holiday revelry Revelry
Revenge (See VENGEANCE.)
Reward (See PRIZE.)
in honor of Bacchus, god of wine. [Rom. Religion: NCE, 203]
Boar’s Head Tavern
scene of Falstaff’s carousals. [Br. Lit. and you don’t want to be topic one in the coffee room the following morning. It’s better to make no impression on the other guests than to leave an indelible one.
- Skimp skimp
v. skimped, skimp·ing, skimps
1. To deal with hastily, carelessly, or with poor material: concentrated on reelection, skimping other matters.
2. on the compliments. Flattery Flattery
toady to his employer. [Br. Lit.: Dombey and Son]
fawningly complains of Amos to King Jeroboam. [O.T.: Amos 7:10]
one who flatters by pretending humility. [Br. Hist. will get you everywhere (although if you take it too far, or can’t fake sincerity, it might backfire). Praise the food. Notice and admire what other guests are wearing. Make sure your host knows how much you appreciated being a part of the festivities fes·tiv·i·ty
n. pl. fes·tiv·i·ties
1. A joyous feast, holiday, or celebration; a festival.
2. The pleasure, joy, and gaiety of a festival or celebration.
- Vent. This isn’t the time to deliver fiery political monologues or debate the meaning of life. If it’s an office party, keep the shop talk to an absolute minimum, or you’ll give the impression that you’re as boring in real life as you are at work. Never complain, brag, or ridicule a co-worker. Act as though your conversations are being recorded.
- Hit and run. Maybe you’re double-booked for the evening, or it’s a party you’ve dreaded for one reason or the other, but staying less than an hour is rude under any circumstances. If you’re watching the clock, don’t make it obvious and be sure to circulate as widely as possible before you thank your host and retire.
Think of these dos and don’ts as a pre-holiday refresher course. They’re not commandments and none have so far been enacted into law. You’re welcome to adapt them to your own personal style or disregard them entirely (at your peril, of course). The main thing is to use common sense, exercise a modicum mod·i·cum
n. pl. mod·i·cums or mod·i·ca
A small, moderate, or token amount: "England still expects a modicum of eccentricity in its artists" Ian Jack. of restraint and remember that parties are supposed to be fun – so try to have some. Cheers.