Over the next couple of weeks, many of you may be hosting Christmas and/or Holiday parties or attending a party. Maybe you have the entire family coming over to your home for Christmas dinner. Proper etiquette may help make the party a little less stressful for you.
5 Etiquette Tips for Being a Good Host and Hostess
Rules and Guidance
- Before your event, make sure the guests know the time the event begins and ends.
- The host and/or should know the age and number of the children attending so that you can have a room or area set up for them.
- Have a television ready for movies or appropriate television shows along with some snacks and games.
- If your party is on Christmas Day, establish a time for gift opening.
- Make sure the parents of children are aware that there is a time for opening gifts.
- Make sure the guests know where to park. As a courtesy, inform your neighbors of your party.
- If applicable, mention that there is no smoking
- Take deep breaths throughout the day.
- If you set a time schedule, start on time.
- As the host or hostess, make sure all of your personal things are done at least a full hour before the party begins.
- This includes being ready to receive your guests.
- Make sure the bathrooms are stocked.
- Ensure that any room that are not open to guests are closed off.
- Take an outside look and walk through the front door like you are a guest to get a visual of what your guests will see upon arriving.
- Make the entrance inviting with some fresh flowers in the hall or foyer.
- Designate friends and family for particular jobs, like keeping the water cooler filled, keeping the appetizer trays full, and tending to the guests. It’s ok to have
- Some soft music playing in the background is quite elegant.
- Either the host, hostess, or a designated person(s) should greet each guest at the door upon arrival.
- Make sure you and anyone helping you eat prior to the guests arriving.
- Have a designated area or coat rack set up for coats and hats.
- The greeter should tell the guests where the hostess is within the home and where the drinks and appetizer areas are located.
- Upon arrival, the greeters should let the guests know the schedule for the event such as gift opening and dinner time.
- If the guests bring gifts for the hostess, have a nicely decorated basket or box dedicated for the gifts at the door.
- The host or hostess should make sure to have flower vases prefilled with water for flowers from guests.
- The hostess should know where the guests will sit prior to arriving at the table.
- If you are cooking or having the food catered, make sure the food is ready before the first guest arrives.
- Decorate the tables with simple, beautiful decorations, but do not the overwhelm tables.
- Make sure the food is labeled in case there are people with food allergies.
- Unless it is a catered, black tie event, guests can begin eating once they get their food and sit down.
- Announce there will be no no cell phones at the table.
- A good hostess takes good care of her guests.
- However, some hostesses go overboard and forget to eat or take a break.
- Some forget to enjoy themselves at their own events.
- Hostesses should build in time to sit and chat with their guests.
- They should have another host, hostess, or designed person to help the guests when you are taking a break.
- Do not spend the entire time running around and not enjoy the party that you organized.
- Allow the guests to serve themselves.
- Relax and enjoy all of your planning and preparation.
- Upon departing, be sure to thank the guests for coming.