It is no secret that the holidays are coming. While this is an exciting time of year, filled with holiday parties, social gatherings and lots of friends and family - it can also be a bit stressful. If you are like me, you often stress about what to wear, what to bring and what to expect at each event. Fear no more. There is a new San Diego blog on the block to stop your fears dead in their tracks and to help you Be the Best Guest!
On-air-personality and budding TV host Oriana Leo is the San Diego Etiquette Guru behind Be the Best Guest. In my interview with her, we discussed holiday etiquette and her idea that “if we bring back some of the lovely social niceties from a bygone era, it might make our lives a little bit more fun and lively”.
GalTime Ambassador: What is the most common faux pas guests make when attending a party?
Be the Best Guest: Being unaware of how they are contributing to the stress of the host. After speaking with many hosts, the biggest complaint I hear is that guests are not mindful of the effort that goes in to planning and hosting a party. It’s the little things that make your host feel appreciated: RSVP, show up on time, never show up empty-handed, and always say “thank you.”
GalTime Ambassador: In regard to Holiday Parties, how does etiquette differ than at a birthday, anniversary, housewarming party, etc?
Be the Best Guest: Emotions tend to run high during the holidays, and alcohol is often consumed as if Prohibition starts on New Years’ Day. These are things to remember for your own behavior as well as how to react to others. Many people, including myself, can get sad around the holidays because they miss a loved one that has passed away, or because they are away from family. Being aware of this and avoiding alcohol is a good way to make sure to behave yourself. That being said, if you find someone crying into your egg nog, hitting on your husband or exhibiting other bad behavior, remember the season and kill them with kindness. KTWK! I always default to this. Smile, say something nice, and walk away. Even if someone tries to pick a fight, you can say a lot with some nice words and a terse tone – and you can guess who walks away the winner in that social situation.
Gifting is also touchy. What happens when someone gives you a gift and you didn’t get one for them? There are a few ways to handle this, and I have an upcoming blog post on this topic. To be safe I suggest always bringing a handwritten card to a holiday party.
Because so much alcohol is consumed during the holidays, if asked to bring alcohol, make sure to bring more than you are going to drink! If you are going to go wild, bring an extra bottle of wine so that the host doesn’t have to break into their “special stash.”
GalTime Ambassador: Name one quick tip for hosts to ensure their guests have a fun and memorable time.
Be the Best Guest: Brainstorm about commonalities and connections your guests have before they arrive (and when you are making your guest list.) That way when you are making introductions and warming up the crowd, you can start conversations and leave them to develop on their own. I feel this is the key to a fabulous dinner party!
GalTime Ambassador: Any final thoughts or words of wisdom?
Be the Best Guest: I blog about personal experiences and ways to be a fabulous guest without extending too much money or effort. I want to inspire my followers. Hopefully you can learn a thing or two from me, like how to put together your own Gift Wrap Basket in time for the holidays and how to buy hostess gifts in bulk to save time and money.
Alright, San Diego, it's time to be a fabulous guest and host! Weather you are hosting a Halloween party, going to a coworker's house for Thanksgiving dinner or a Holiday Soiree, you now know where to turn for advice. Enjoy the holidays, be fabulous and thrive!
Erin Stafford is owner of San Diego Realized, a Personal Concierge business dedicated to helping San Diego residents acclimate, thrive and enjoy their days in America's Finest City. Connect with San Diego Realized and Galtime on Facebook to stay in the loop!