Be a Great Holiday Guest!

Published December 12, 2011 by Patty Brisben

We are in the throes of the busiest season of the year. While we get stuck in the mindset of how busy we are, we have to keep in mind that everyone is feeling the pressure. When it’s your turn to relax and enjoy the party, not run the show, keep the hostess of the party in mind. She’s probably worried about having enough wine, hoping everyone gets along, and concerned about everything else but herself.

If you’ve ever hosted a party before, you know how stressful they can be. What did you wish for as the hostess? As you’re attending parties this year, keep the hostess and other guests in mind.

Here’s how you can be a great holiday guest!

Be classy and fabulous: Coco Chanel said it best: “A woman should be two things: classy and fabulous.” In a party environment, remember to arrive in a good mood, be sociable, and always be polite. Even if you’re best friends with the hostess, she wants to leave all her guests with a good impression. You can start with returning an RSVP as soon as possible—a hostess needs to know the number of total people who are attending and plan accordingly. Keeping your alcohol intake to a minimum and leaving any lewd or crass humor and behavior at home will leave the hostess at ease. Your reputation will be in check, too!

Bring a hostess gift: You should never show up to a party empty handed. Depending on your relationship with the hostess and how formal the party is, you’ll be able to judge what kind of gift you should bring. A bottle of wine, a nice dessert, a certificate for a post-party spa treatment, or cocktail glasses are all great, thoughtful options. You want to ensure the hostess knows that you’re thankful and that you’re thinking of her.

Thank the hostess in her love language: People speak in five love languages. People are receptive to Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, or a combination of any of those languages. Be sure to thank the hostess in her love language. For example:

-If she responds to Words of Affirmation: Tell her, “Thank you so much for putting on this beautiful gathering. You are an excellent hostess and made this a really enjoyable night!”

-If she responds to Quality Time: Talk to her when she has a moment alone to thank her and compliment her. Be sure there are no distractions around and that you give her your undivided attention.

-If she responds to Receiving Gifts: Aside from a hostess gift, offer to take her out to dinner or treat her to a girls’ night. Thanking her with a night in which she gets to relax and have fun will be rewarding to her.

-If she responds to Acts of Service: Stay later than the rest of the guests to help her clean up or wash dishes, or call her before the party to see if there are any last-minute items you could pick up for her. Relieving her of anything that might be a burden will speak volumes.

-If she responds to Physical Touch: Hug her as you thank her for the party, or gently pat her forearm while giving her a compliment.

Don’t be tardy for the party: Being punctual is respectable; being late is not. Remove the “fashionably late” excuse from your vocabulary! Respect the times explained on the invitation so as to relieve extra stress, worry, or uncomfortable situations. It would be upsetting if you were the one hosting a dinner party, for example, and someone walks in while everyone is on their main courses.

Mix and mingle: It’s easy to talk to only the people you know, but try to be as much of a social butterfly as possible. Float around the room and be open to conversation with anyone. Introduce yourself to people you haven’t yet met. Be receptive to people who approach you and be conversational. Keep conversation lively and interesting; people attend parties to have fun!

With these tips, you’re sure to be the life of the party and the dream guest!

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