Don’t Forget The Etiquette At Your New Year’s Soiree
THE DOMINION POST
Sunday, Dec 26, 2010
With Dec. 31 and one of the biggest party nights of the year right around the cor- ner, chances are good you may be attending a New Year’s Eve party on Friday.
If heading to someone’s house for the big countdown to 2011, it’s possible you may have some questions: Should I bring a gift to the host? When should I arrive: Early, late, right on time? Can I bring a friend?
Lyla Grandstaff, owner of Elements of Etiquette, a training and consulting business, took a few moments to answer these and other etiquette questions via e-mail. Beyond your behavior at the party itself, there are many things to keep in mind before, and even after, the party.
“RSVP as soon as possible,” Grand- staff said. “Let the host/hostess know even if you are not attending.”
And if you’re thinking about bring- ing along a friend, only do so if the invi- tation says you may, she said.
“Don’t ask to bring a guest,” she said. “Remember, if children are not included on the invitation, they are not invited.”
Also, it’s good etiquette to call the host and let him/her know if you will be 15 or more minutes late, and don’t show up early unless the host has asked for your help before the party.
So what about bringing a gift? Some- thing small, such as a box of chocolates or wine, is appreciated, Grandstaff said. And here’s another tip: If you’re going to bring flowers to the party, have them in a vase already so the host does- n’t have to deal with that on top of the party itself.
One of the most important things to remember, especially at a New Year’s Eve party where there will most likely be an abundance of wine and other spirits, is to slow down the drinking, she said. “Don’t overindulge at the bar,” Grandstaff urged.
Also, “don’t double dip,” she said. “Remember George on ‘Seinfeld?’ This is a no-no.”
Other party faux paus include bad language; provocative clothes, especial- ly at office parties; and letting your cell phone interrupt the celebration.
“If you must make a call, go to a pri- vate area,” Grandstaff said.
“How to Instantly Connect With Any- one” author Leil Lowndes offered some party tips in a press release to The Dominion Post.
“When someone tells you what they do, ask, ‘How did you decide you wanted to become a (what- ever their job)?’ Or, ‘What is your typical day like?’ Ask friends this question, too. They’ll be delighted you care,” the release said. “If they tell you they’re from someplace else, ask ‘Why did you decide to come and live in (name of your city)?’ ‘How’ and ‘Why?’ are great ways to kick-start a conversation and get it humming.”
If facing a couple, one of the best questions to ask to start the conversa- tion is “How did you two first meet?”
Even simple things, such as keeping your arms unfolded and holding your drink in your left hand so that you can shake hands freely, are important to remember, Lowndes said.
And don’t be afraid to center yourself in the room and introduce yourself.
How do you know when it’s time to leave the party? Grandstaff has some simple advice.
“Don’t be the last to leave, unless your host/hostess has asked you to stay,” she said. “Guests are usually expected to stay at least an hour after dinner. If you must leave early, let your host know when you arrive.”
Always make sure to thank the host, whether it be at the end of the party or in a thank-you note sent the day after, Grandstaff said.
“You may want to send a thank-you note the day after the party,” she said, “but personal notes are only expected after formal dinners.”