Holiday Etiquette: 7 Tips on the Not to Do List

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I remember so clearly a dinner party I hosted where a newer friend showed up two hours late with two uninvited guests in tow. To make matters worse, they didn’t bring anything to contribute to the party. Needless to say, I never invited her to another party. I doubt she was ill-intentioned, rather, she was clueless on basic etiquette. She likely would have benefited from reading a list of what NOT TO DO during holiday gatherings and dinner parties. Here you go, you’re welcome.

Holiday Etiquette: What NOT to do

1. Don’t bring uninvited guests. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning because it’s a common mistake people make. If you’re invited to a dinner party, make sure to respect the host’s guest list and only bring along the people they’ve specifically invited.

2. Don’t go to a dinner party empty-handed. It’s always a good idea to bring something to contribute, whether it’s a bottle of wine, a dessert, or a small gift. This shows appreciation for the host’s efforts and helps to make the party more enjoyable for everyone.

3. Don’t show up more than 30 minutes late for a sit-down dinner. While it’s okay to be a little bit late, try to arrive within 15-30 minutes of the stated start time. This gives the host time to get everything ready and ensures that the dinner doesn’t get off to a late start.

4. Don’t bring up highly sensitive or personal topics at a group dinner. It’s important to be respectful of others’ boundaries and to keep the conversation light and enjoyable for everyone. Avoid bringing up controversial topics or asking inappropriate questions.

5. Don’t ask about someone’s relationship status or when they’re going to have kids. These types of questions can be intrusive and uncomfortable for some people. Instead, focus on getting to know people on a more general level and finding common interests.

6. Don’t stay past your welcome. It’s important to be gracious and thank your host for their hospitality, but it’s also important to know when it’s time to go. Don’t linger too long or overstay your welcome.

7. Don’t dominate the conversation. One way to avoid dominating the conversation is to actively listen to others and ask open-ended questions that encourage them to share more about themselves. This not only allows others to feel heard and valued, but it also helps to create a more balanced and engaging conversation for everyone involved.

Did I miss anything? Feel free to forward to Aunt Mary who might need an etiquette refresher.

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