A Gentleman’s Guide to Holiday Party Etiquette

A Gentleman’s Guide to Holiday Party Etiquette

I’m convinced there’s only two types of people. One– A Christmas enthusiast is someone who blasts Mariah Carey’s rendition of “All I Want for Christmas” on B101 on their drive to work, adds a shot of peppermint into their daily latte at Starbucks, and looks glamorous and rosy-cheeked while walking in the snow. And two– A grinch is someone who would rather listen to Nickelback than Christmas tunes, prefers a shot of whiskey in their coffee, and can’t manage to walk in the snow without getting pneumonia and frostbite. 


Whether you are an enthusiast or a grinch, the holidays are here. Your mailbox is probably already overflowing with Happy Holidays cards. Let’s play a quick game… You get a point if you if one of the cards you received has a picture on the cover of the family all dressed in jeans and white shirts on the beach at sunset. You get another point if you get an update on someone’s braces. You get another point if the card is signed by all the family members and their dog too. Anyways, with these cards come a slew of invitations to holiday parties. Suddenly, what was supposed to be a relaxing holiday break is filled with scheduled events: your office “Winter Wonderland,” Bubby’s “Chanukah Celebration,” your accountant’s “Christmas Eve Kick Off” (which probably was just a courtesy invite), your in laws’ annual “Holiday Bash.” This guide will teach you holiday party etiquette and tips to make the most of this holiday season!


Don’t Show Up Empty Handed

Bringing a little something for your hosts is always a good move. Especially with the spirit of Christmas upon us, it’s just a no-brainer! Luckily for you, we already wrote a whole blog post about a Holiday Gifting Guide. Good gift ideas to bring your hosts include a candle, flowers, and a bottle of alcohol.


Do Your Homework

You have off from school and work, so you probably think you’re free from homework. But I’m prescribing a new type of homework. On the ride over to the party, it’s a good idea to refresh yourself on details about your host and their life! With technology nowadays, it makes it pretty easy. You don’t have to dig through the dusty family albums, but just do a light stalking on social media! If they posted on Facebook that they got hip surgery, it’d be nice to ask about their recovery. If they mentioned on Instagram they grew up in New England, maybe bring up the Patriots (as much as it might pain you to stray from your Eagles loyalty). Showing you’re paying attention to someone makes them feel special!


Prepare Your Elevator Pitch

At the holiday party, you’re going to be catching up with people you don’t see on the reg. But it’s not always the most conducive environment for catching up especially with Charlie Brown Christmas playing in the background, plates of cookies constantly being passed around, and fire alarms going off from all the baking. So you have to be ready to go! Almost like an elevator pitch for your social life! What do you want these people to know about what’s been going on in your life? Don’t waste time small talking about this new brand of dog food you just found if you just signed a lease on your first big boy house!

Holiday Party Etiquette

Lend a Hand

Some hosts might not need or want you to help out, but it’s always a good idea to ask anyways. Maybe there’s some chips and dip that needs to be restocked. Maybe your host just wants you to guard the dessert table from the prying fingers of sneaky kids. Maybe you can help bring the plates into the kitchen.

Return the Favor

These people did just invite you into their homes to meet their family and friends (even if your accountant just invited you as a courtesy), so it’s polite to return the favor! Inviting all the people to your holiday party who invite you to their party is always a good rule of thumb.

Holiday Party Etiquette

Thank the Hosts

It’s always a good idea to thank your hosts. After all, they’re the ones cleaning up all your cookie crumbs and picking up the shreds of wrapping paper! If you just went to your boss’ house, maybe send a hand-written thank you note. If you just went to your friend’s house who you drink beer and eat pizza with on Friday nights, a quick text will suffice.



Even if the holiday season can get overwhelming at times and you feel obligated to attend all these parties, you can make the most of it by following this guide to holiday party etiquette. At the end of the day, the spirit of the holiday season is about love, gratitude, and generosity!


At Henry A. Davidsen, we are grateful to be able to empower our customers to look and feel their best by outfitting them in custom suits. Check back to the Henry A. Davidsen blog to read next week’s blog post “A Look Back on the Trends of 2019.”

Holiday Party Etiquette

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