11 Secrets to Enjoying Holiday Parties

The holidays are fast approaching and that means that the party season is in full swing. Whether you were invited by your boss, your mother, or your best friend’s cousin, holiday party etiquette is largely universal. Follow these 11 tips to get the most out of each event. Happy Hubbard Days!

1. RSVP promptly. This should be instinctive. Whenever you receive an invitation to a party, it calls for a clear response to the host. Once you know that you will be available to attend, RSVP promptly to avoid awkward follow-ups, or worse, forgetting to respond at all. A timely acknowledgment of the invitation gives your host time to plan and prepare their party without having to throw in extra chairs at the last minute. Being the kind of guest that forces the host to make day-of changes is both personally embarrassing and socially isolating. Remember, you want to be invited again.  

2. Plan your timing. Of course, arriving early is rude, but even arriving on time can be awkward at parties. Arriving too late gives the impression that you’d rather not be there at all. The perfect timing seems to be arriving around 15 minutes late for every party. By then, there will be enough other guests to keep you company without burdening the host or making you regret not taking another lap around the neighborhood.

3. Check the dress code. It’s a rare person who likes to truly stand out at parties. If you want to blend in perfectly without losing your own flare, feel free to ask the host or hostess what the party’s dress code will be. If you have close friends attending, you can also reach out to them for advice. The most important thing to remember? Ask ahead of time if the party has a theme - that’s not the sort of thing you want to assume (either way!). Whatever the dress code, Samuel Hubbard shoes are the perfect way to stay comfortable without compromising on style. 

4. Create a game plan. If you’re going to the party with other people this is especially important. Set up a plan for when you will all collectively arrive at and leave the party. It never hurts to have a backup plan just in case you want to make a quick exit. After all, holiday parties are not an infrequent site of uncomfortable events. Having a wingperson or two can keep everything running smoothly, but only if you have a unified plan. 

5. Have a “meet new people” mindset. Parties are some of the best places to meet new people. That’s the fun. Whether or not you are someone who normally starts conversations with strangers, challenge yourself to greet and engage with new people. Everyone else is feeling just as uncomfortable as you and most would love to make new friends. This could be an incredible opportunity to network, but avoid talking about work beyond the basic introductory information. See more on topics to avoid below. 

6. Eat something before going. Please don’t ignore this advice. It seems to be the one thing that everyone forgets and everyone regrets. Take time before leaving for the party to eat a small, protein-rich meal. The hosts may not serve dinner or even appetizers for quite some time. Nothing ruins a party like feeling faint. 

7. Avoid minefield topics. Be comfortable in conversation and avoid uncovering the worst in your fellow guests by steering away from money, politics, religion, and other conflict-heavy topics. As much as you might be tempted to engage with someone about these issues, be cautioned that the danger outweighs the benefit. Worst case scenario? An argument that ruins the party for you, your host, and other guests. 

8. Avoid drinking too much. We will keep this advice simple. Know your limits. Never use a lovely party as an excuse to over-indulge. You won’t be invited again. Even if you would rather not be invited again, we think planning a vacation during the event next year is a better approach. 

9. Say goodbye to everyone. Everyone loves to be acknowledged, so take the time when you know your time at the party is winding to a close to say goodbye to everyone you know or have met at the party. It’s good manners. 

10. Say “thank you” to the host. After saying goodbye to other attendees, find the host and hostess and express your gratitude for the invitation. Compliment them. Take time to offer some form of reciprocation such as dinner or a night out together in the future. Even if they are too busy to consider it in the moment, it is always thoughtful to show that you care and are invested in the future of your relationship with the hosts. 

11. Don’t overstay (or under stay) your welcome. Leave before the night truly begins to wind down. No one likes to invite people to their home who overstay their welcome. If there’s a motto to stand by during the holidays it is “leave while you’re still having fun.” On the other hand, avoid leaving the party before it is at least ⅔ over unless you have another commitment and have already notified the host of your early departure. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! We hope that these tips help you keep the season merry and bright.