Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Art of The Guest

In my household, we host many, many events. Dinner parties, huge holiday events, get-togethers for the kids and just impromptu gatherings. My house is the place where everyone is welcome! I know many of you are going to be invited out for the holidays this year and I would just like to offer a bit of advice on what makes the ideal guest

  1.   You MUST RSVP in a timely fashion. I cannot emphasize this enough. Your host has to prepare the menu for the event and without a proper headcount that can be extremely difficult. Also, your host may be planning on goodie bags for children or small chocolate place settings. It is awkward to be at that point in the evening and find you are short items. 
  2.   Please don't ask to bring additional guest, unless it is a significant other. (though if the other is truly significant, I assume your host would have already invited them.) If you are a serial dater, don't bring your current flame. It is tricky to know how to play that, when the next event will bring a new love. 
  3.  WATCH YOUR CHILDREN. A holiday event is not a babysitting service. If your host has teens and you have youngsters, it is not proper to expect the teens to watch your children. They may have duties or guests of their own to entertain. In addition to this, do not let the children stand over the snacks and chow down. Be responsible.
  4. polite. Don't attack other guests politics or bring up controversial topics in order to see sparks. (I actually have had this happen recently. Guess who will not be invited back.) Try to meet someone new instead of hiding off with those you know. I always think, "Hey, I will probably not see these people till next year, so I'm going to chat someone up." 
  5.  Bring your hostess something...anything. If she tells you she needs nothing for the party, that is probably true, but it is a welcome gesture to offer something for her personally later. Wine, chocolates, home baked goodies, all are appreciated. My dearest friend comes to Thanksgiving every year with her family and brings us all the fixins' for a Bread pudding breakfast the next morning. It is a delightful thing! 
  6.   HAVE FUN!!!! My dear mother in law, who passed last year and I miss her dreadfully, always said that the amount of fun you have at a party is, to a large degree, your responsibility. So be open, cheerful and polite. You will be invited to many more events!

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