There are many aspects about Christmas that require you be on your best behavior: cards, gifts, parties, and much more. Below you'll find a variety of topics that you might want to learn more about so that you don't make a major faux pas this holiday season.
Being a Good Guest
* When you RSVP, consider asking if you can pitch in for the event in some way. While at the host's abode, offer to help out in other ways too. You may do the dishes, clear the table, or help prepare the food, for example.
* Inform your host ahead of time if you have any food issues that might affect the menu, such as allergies or religious requirements, or if you are a vegetarian.
* Arrive well-dressed and groomed. Remember you want to make a good impression, especially if you are meeting potential in-laws.
* As always, do be careful of what you say, and be polite.
* Don't gorge yourself and watch how much you drink. Put on a good show at the dinner table by following protocol (cutting properly, using your napkin, not burping, etc.). Here's a quick Guide to Dining Etiquette.
* Be friendly and chat with others.
* If there are kids at a Christmas party, you may opt to get them something.
* As for giving in the office, check with Human Resources to see what the policies are and take into account the tone in your office, as it may affect whether presents are suitable or not. As a ground rule, avoid buying something for a supervisor, as it can be seen as brown-nosing. If you want to give gifts to coworkers with whom you are friends, you may opt to give something small, but try and keep things discreet so that you don't make others feel left out.
* If you receive a gift, show your gratitude even if deep down you don't like it. The person spent the time and money to get you something.
Do make sure to personalize the cards if they are going to close friends or family. If the cards are for business associates, something more generic is acceptable. Either way, sign your name on every card and self-address the envelopes.
Besides partying with friends, family, and coworkers, keep in mind that there are many folks you will encounter who are not on your buddy list. Stay safe this season and if you go to bars or clubs, bring along a competent friend or group of pals. This ensures that everyone can keep an eye out for everyone else. Date rape drugs abound and it is not uncommon for people to try and spike your drink. To stay on the safe side, always buy your own drinks, unless you are watching it being poured and handed over by the bar staff. Never leave your drink unoccupied. If you suspect anything fishy, tell your friends or someone on staff in the establishment so that it can be reported to the authorities. Never let a stranger care for you, as they could be a potential attacker in the first place.
'''Drinking and Driving'''
* If you plan to invite someone who tends to drink to excess at events, do not feel uncomfortable about speaking to him or her to make sure he or she has a designated driver or the number of a cab company. You might think about collecting everyone's keys at the beginning of the party so you will be able to monitor who is unfit to drive home. Have the number of a driver service onhand, or have guest beds made up, just in case.
* Serve plenty of food so that the focus of the party is not on drinking. Also, limit the amount of salty dishes available since this will help control thirst levels.
* If you serve a punch, consider using juice as a base instead of soda pop since carbonated beverages facilitate alcohol absorption.
* Be sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks available.
* Appoint a bartender to mix drinks and keep an eye on consumption. If your guests are able to mix their own drinks, they will tend to over-pour, especially as the night goes on.
* Close the bar an hour to 90 minutes before the party ends, and serve dessert and coffee.