Photo found here.
My friend Hugh once gave me a hardbound copy of Emily Post's Etiquette with the inscription "Meredith- Hope this helps you get your shit together."
Of course I read the book. In doing so, I found that many of social conventions advocated by Ms. Post seem a bit old-fashioned. Regrettably, headings like "Introduction of a Domestic Employee" and "The Bow of a Woman of Charm" simply do not apply to my current social station.
The truth is that people today feel challenged by the roles of host, hostess and guest. Add to that a family dynamic in addition to holiday expectations, and well, the challenge is tripled. Never fear! Retro-luxe has these suggestions based on experience to help make your holiday gathering more enjoyable.
Tips for the Host/Hostess---
Do: Offer your guests some delicious cocktails.
Don't: Over serve. The last thing you want is a bunch of drunks at your house redecorating your living room or raiding your closet.
Tip: Always remember who is an vegetarian, who has a nut allergy and who has diabetes and needs to eat on time or they may faint.
Do: Remember to turn on the oven.
Don't: Forget to turn on the oven.
Tip: Familiarize yourself with the Kentucky Fried Chicken locations in your neighborhood in case something goes horribly wrong...
Tips for the Guest---
Do: Call ahead and ask what you can bring. For example, if the hostess if serving wine, find out what type and bring an extra bottle of that.
Don't: Retrieve unopened bottles of wine and take them back home with you.
Tip: The hostess may want to open a bottle of wine later, after you're gone, to relieve some of the post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the fact that your children knocked over the Christmas tree no less than six times.
Do: Bring a gift for the host/hostess. He/she may like flowers, West German pottery, a tidbit tray, a CD of some ambient dinner party music (but not Kenny G.), or a pannetone.
Don't: Bitch about the Watergate salad.
Don't: Overstay your welcome.
Tip: Be sensitive to the hostess' cues. After dessert and coffee, it may be time to go. If the hostess looks tired, holds her hands to her temples, is taking pills, or is passed out on the sofa, IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO LEAVE.
Well, I think that about covers it on this end.
Do you have anything you'd like to add, dear readers?