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Urban Etiquette: Time to Party with Class

by Borderstan.com December 13, 2011 at 10:30 am 0

"Borderstan""Urban Etiquette"

Take a nice bottle of something to a holiday party. And it’s always nice to say “thank you” afterward. (Luis Gomez Photos).

From Mike Kohn. Got an urban etiquette wrong that needs to be righted? Find Mike on Twitter @mike_kohn or drop him a line at [email protected].

So ’tis the season and all that jazz, and you may find yourself in the position of being invited to a holiday party or two. I’ve got one on my calendar for this weekend and I felt like it was time to share some general party tips — these aren’t holiday specific, but it seems like good timing.

Lest you forget: Washington is a city that runs on connections. Do some good for people and they’ll remember that later — too bad the opposite is even more true.

  • What can I bring? Ask your host if you can bring anything. More often than not, the answer is going to be no. But you may be asked to get a side or a dessert, or if you can pick up those damn napkins that your host forgot to get at the grocery store. At the request of my host, I’ll be bringing peppermint liqueur and brownies. Only at holiday time…
  • Don’t show up empty handed. If your answer from the above point was the no you expected, bring something anyway. If someone is inviting you to a holiday party, they’ve put a lot of work into organization (probably). Bringing a bottle of wine or a small gift as a thank you is just a nice thing to do.
  • The invite is yours and yours alone. When the invitation is +1 or with a guest, don’t invite everyone you know to someone else’s party. We’ve all been to parties where you’re having a good time and then one person walks in with 20 of their friends. One word: tacky.
  • Helping or hurting. At the end of the night, ask if you can do anything before you go. Again, you’re going to get an “absolutely not,” but you’ll make your host happy. But if you can help with the clean up process in any way, you are sure to be invited back again.
  • Everybody loves getting mail. Consider sending a thank you note. This comes from my “Mom-Mom knows best” folder: my grandmother, and therefore my mother, were big fans of the follow-up. I’ve taken a broad interpretation of the idea to include email, phone call or actual paper note (remember the postal service?), but the concept is the same — thank your host for a great time.

What’s on your agenda? I’m sure you have holiday party horror stories, whether they are your own or they are from watching the lack of etiquette of fellow guests. Share them with us and tell us how to avoid the wrongs of holiday parties past, present and future!

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