Holiday Party Etiquette


By Dane Feldman

Photo by Dane Feldman.

With December in full-swing, it’s safe to say that holiday party season is upon us. Some tips should go without saying, but I thought it might be fun to touch upon what to do this year in order to maximize merriment while also eliminating any chance at embarrassing ourselves at office parties.

Aside from dressing festively (i.e. Christmas sweaters and tartan pants), I’m a believer that the next most important factor is alcohol, as with any party. While it’s highly necessary to avoid being sloppily drunk at the office party, it is absolutely okay to take a little bit of advantage of an open bar and top-shelf liquor. Avoid acting like a kid in a candy store, though or you’ll seem out of place. Of course, this is one of those tips that goes without saying, but you’d be surprised.

At catered parties and any party where you don’t mix your own drinks, try to simplify your order. Know what you want before you get to the bar and stick to the classics like a screwdriver, rum and Coke, or scotch on the rocks with a twist. I love a good old fashioned as much as anyone could love an alcoholic beverage, but this is the night to keep it simple. Tip the bartender even if it is open bar; there are no excuses for this no matter what.

If you’re going to a house party, try bringing a batch-made cocktail like this one. It’s thoughtful, different, and having something premade will make it easier for everyone trying to mix their own drinks all night long. Offering to make the drinks for the other guests will also go a long way when you, too, are a guest. If you’re the one throwing the party, remember that you can’t do it all yourself. It’s okay to recruit a friend to help out.

Just because it’s holiday party season doesn’t mean you have to be festive. Personally, I’m a fan of wintry themes, but there are no rules that say you must drink eggnog and do peppermint schnapps shots. If you’re the one making the drinks, I’d be willing to bet that folks won’t pass up a good margarita no matter what the thermometer outside reads.

Oh, and Chambord champagne cocktails go a long way on Christmas and New Year’s Day, but more on that later.