Party Protocol...

by - Friday, November 30, 2012

With Thanksgiving carefully packed away as the china wrapped in Black-Friday and Cyber-Monday circulars, party season has already begun, my friends! Being a frequent hostess and hospitable guest, there is a certain decorum to adopt when celebrating the festivities with style and finesse. Let me share my list of top ten do's and don'ts when out and about this season... Let's go!

1) RSVP as soon as possible... It is very frustrating for a host to have to email or call, following up on your response, especially if a lot of guests are expected for the party. When the day arrives, being punctual is appreciated and expected. "Fashionably late" is very passe. Listen, things happen and if you will be more than a half hour late to an intimate get-together, a courtesy call to the host is appropriate.

2) If you have any dietary needs, make the host aware of them ahead of time... That is, if you have any food allergies, are a diabetic or a vegetarian/vegan. Give your host enough time to accommodate your situation. I'm not talking about being on the latest liquid diet or colon-cleanse fad! In that case, you need to just personally modify your selections from the menu offered or ditch the diet for the night.

3) Bring a gift for the host... It doesn't have to be extravagant, just a little something like a bottle of wine, or a lightly scented candle. If you are crafty in the kitchen, a simple great dessert or app would be perfect! It shows you appreciate the invite extended to you and yours and are happy to share the time together.

4) Wear something appropriate... Dressing “festive” doesn’t mean whipping out the Sexy Santa costume, especially at a company or family party! Ladies, keep it classy and avoid wearing anything that shows too much leg or cleavage. If you find yourself asking if it’s inappropriate, it probably is. Gents, dress professional, swap the jeans for khakis or chords. Remember, it’s always a good idea to be dressed up than dressed down.

5) Put away the gadgets... Many hosts today are setting up a large bowl in the entrance so that arriving guests can leave their Smartphones at the door. You are at a party with live people! What is this with people texting each other from across the room in the same space?? Get over there and work on your social skills!

6) Mingle and meet... It's a party! Make the rounds and talk to people! 

7) Hold your glass in your left hand so your right is free to shake and greet... This helps solve the awkward fumbling of hands as you mingle, and can potentially avoid the embarrassment of spilling your drink all over yourself... or on someone else for that matter.

8) Avoid drama... Forgiveness is the best gift you can give to yourself. While I'm not encouraging you to be bubbly with anyone who has crossed the line giving you the evil eye over the years, a party is not the time to start a full blown argument bringing up resentments. Remember - keep it light and keep it bright.

9) Overindulgence is a cardinal sin... Too much of a good thing, is, well, a bad thing! Just because there is all that food and alcohol doesn't mean you need to consume it all in one night. Moderation is key to everything and you will feel much more satisfied and smitten if you don't overdo it.

10) Send a thank you note... It is always a welcomed gesture to send a hand-written note to the host after the party. Yes, I know that today the art of hand is lost to electronic messages and tweets. Yes, I know that it is more convenient for modern communication. But to take the time to acknowledge kindness and hospitality is really a treasured gift itself. I can guarantee you will absolutely make a lasting impression if you take the time...

But the most important part of my party protocol is to HAVE FUN folks! 
Enjoy the delights of the season responsibly... xoxo-Sonya

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