The 5 Most Essential Holiday Party Etiquette Rules

Everyone loves a holiday party!

With the most wonderful time of the year officially underway, chances are you'll be invited to a fun gathering or two. Whether you're celebrating the holidays with your family or getting in the jolly and cheerful spirit with your friends, here's some essential holiday party etiquette you should heed in order to make sure you're being a good guest.

Arrive on Time

If you're invited to a holiday party, and the shindig has a specified start time, you should try your best to arrive within 15 minutes of that designated window—but not early! If the host has made the point of including a start time on the invitation, it is likely for a good reason that could involve anything from when the food will be served to when any party games might get underway. Basically, arriving more than 15 minutes late without a good reason and/or giving the host a heads up is downright rude. Avoid it if you can.


Show Your Appreciation for the Host

When you go to a holiday party, especially if it's at someone's home, don't show up empty-handed. You don't need to bring a lavish gift, just a small token of appreciation, such as a bouquet of flowers, a holiday candle, chocolates or maybe some homemade cookies. It goes a long way. If you're unable to purchase a gift, offer to arrive early and help set up, or volunteer to stay after the shindig and help clean up.

Holiday Cookies
(via Unsplash)


Don't Bring Any Unannounced Guests

Though you might not realize it, there's generally a great deal of planning that goes into organizing a holiday party, which means it's very inconsiderate of you to show up with a guest without first asking the host for permission. This could throw off seating arrangements, food, and plenty of other little things you likely hadn't even thought of.

If you want to bring a plus one, simply ask the host as far in advance as you can, so as to give them ample time to prepare for an extra guest. If they say no, however, you need to respect their wishes and move on.


Mix and Mingle

Sure, it's tempting to go to a holiday party and chat up only your friends or family members, but chances are the host has brought all of these friends together with the hope that people who weren't previously acquainted will have at least a chance to get to know one another.

Feel free to approach someone you don't know and strike up a conversation, especially if that person seems a tad shy or lonely. Chances are they will appreciate your effort. If you feel comfortable enough, you can also introduce two people you don't know who you feel might hit it off.

Guests at a Holiday Party
(via Unsplash)


Don't Ghost Your Host

It can be tempting to slip out of a holiday party unnoticed, especially if there are plenty of people around, but you should always make sure you say goodbye and thank your host before leaving. Not only is this the courteous thing to do, but it keeps the host up-to-date on who's still enjoying the festivities.


For more holiday content, click HERE for a list of Instagram captions for when you're under the mistletoe.