7 Holiday Etiquette Tips to Avoid Social Embarrassment

Contrary to the behaviour of the current President of the United States, proper etiquette is not out of style. The act of following the basic rules of good manners shows respect for other people and sends the message that you want the same respect in return. Good etiquette is useful to help you stand out in a crowd, make a positive lasting impression and gives you a competitive edge in the job market. Most of us only get one chance to make a good impression, practicing good manners is essential if you want to be remembered. At the very least you’ll avoid an embarrassing situation.

During the holidays there are lots of social events, both formal and informal, to attend. Formal dinners can be intimidating in terms of what to do and how to act. Always be yourself, with a good attitude and the following additional reminders and you’ll do just fine.

1. Be On Time

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Tardiness has become an acceptable norm in our society for reasons I canโ€™t personally understand. It is poor manners to be late, respect the time of your host and don’t be tardy.

2. Leave the Potty Mouth at Home

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Vulgarity and profanity have no place in respectable dinner conversation.

3. Chew First, Talk Second

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For the love of Beyoncรฉ never speak with food in your mouth.

4. Napkins

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Napkins are never to be draped from your neck like a bib, but placed across your lap after sitting. Your napkin is not a towel, do not wipe but blot as necessary throughout meal. If you must leave the table loosely fold napkin to the right of plate and place it back in your lap upon return.

5. Utensils

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Simple practice is to move from the outside in with utensils next to your plate. Your table will be set according to the number of courses youโ€™re having, forks and spoons will coincide with each course. The fork and knife closest to your plate is always for eating main course.

6. Glasses

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To your right, closest to the knives with water glass first, then wine glass following.

7. Gifts

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If the dinner is at a home bring the host or hostess a gift just for them. Need ideas for a gift? Check out the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide!

Remember these tips when attending your next holiday party and avoid any embarrassing faux pas. They just might invite you back next year!