The holidays are coming soon, so ’tis the season to be jolly. That said, it’s also important to have good manners during all the fun and fellowship. Even your closest family members and friends should be treated with respect when you’re visiting them in their homes.
When you visit someone, you should never arrive empty-handed, so take along a thoughtful hostess gift. For added effect, wrap it nicely and attach a card with a touching or inspirational sentiment. This goes for everyone. Even if you are visiting your mother, sister or best friend she or he will still appreciate a token gift of thanks.
From a personalized wine label to a gift that keeps on giving, we’ll help you find (or make) the perfect gift for everyone on your list.
Wait for Directions
Once you have arrived and entered the home, you should definitely wait to be directed into one room or another. A good host or hostess will always take the lead, and you should follow their directions. They will be clear on where the socializing is happening, and you should not wander into other “off limits” areas without prior permission.
Show Respect for the Host’s Home
Before you arrive at a party or event where there are other guests present, make a decision on how long you will stay. Try not to be the straggler or last one out. In general, don’t stay too long or be the last one to leave. The only time you should stay after other guests have gone is if your offer to help clean up has been accepted by the host.
Wait for Offers
Whether your visit is a formal dinner engagement, cocktail party, or casual event, you should wait until you are offered a drink, snack or meal rather than requesting one on your own. Doing otherwise is rude. However, if you are thirsty, it’s fine to ask for a glass of water.
Mind Your Graces, Ps and Qs
“Minding your Ps and Qs” is an English expression that means one should mind his or her manners and be on his or her best behavior. When visiting, regardless of the occasion, you should follow proper etiquette rules.
Remember to be friendly and show your engaging style. If you know in advance that you are in a bad or disagreeable mood, you might want to reschedule your visit as soon as you realize your predicament. If you find that your host has already made preparations for your visit, press on and make at least a short appearance out of respect for his or her time.
You should always send a thank you note after visiting someone’s home. Even if you were just there for a snack or tea, it shows that you appreciate the hospitality. The ideal thank you note should be written and mailed within a couple days of the visit.