On the Scene with Crystal Chanel
5 Party Rules – Its Holiday Etiquette 101
As a host and a marketer, the winter holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year. I honestly float from party to party, wearing gold glitter and red sparkles, toting signature cocktails, secret recipes and thoughtful gifts. However, in that same vein, I always notice someone stressing over whether or not to actually attend the Christmas party, and then stressing further about what they should wear, drink, do or even say. I mean I get it; no one wants to be the CEO who obviously drank beyond their limit, the secretary who made out with a senior executive or the new guy who said way too much in a strange attempt to fit in. Accordingly, in an effort to make sure that holiday glee has a chance to saturate our warm South Florida atmosphere, I have listed my top five rules one should follow when attending a holiday party. And although, there are several types of holiday parties, these five rules apply whether the party invitation is from a boss, a client, a friend or a colleague because people are just that, people.
Rule No.: 1 – Always Accept the Invitation: Unless you are sick or doubled booked for the exact same time, party invitations should be valued, especially if you can sense the exclusivity of the invite.
I compare party invitations to that of a southern woman offering you a home cooked meal. Declining her offer could suggest that you have no desire to expand the depths of your current relationship status with her.
Holiday party invitations should be seen in the same light as this is an opportunity to connect further and to meet the other members of the party organizer’s network. Hence, don’t be afraid to show up, to be yourself and to create new relationships.
Rule No.: 2 – Don’t Come Empty Handed: Organizing a party takes work, and for that reason, guests who show their appreciation stand out. Personally, I usually ask if I can make a “signature” cock-tail. I found my secret Ginger Cinnamon Bourbon Ice Tea recipe on Google. That festive drink was the talk of the night at a Friendsgiving party. One the other hand, one could also consider bringing personal gift for the party host, like a bottle of liquor, flowers, a notable empowerment book (like Think & Grow Rich, The Al-chemist or the 48 Laws of Power), or even a sponsorship check depending on your relationship with the party planner. Showing appreciation leaves a lasting impression.
Rule No.: 3 – Consider Your Attire Carefully: Clothing should match the party type. A ball gown should not be worn to a Christmas picnic, and yes, we have those here in Florida. Tight or revealing club attire is typically inappropriate. I recommend that party goers opt for an outfit that says, Happy Holidays. Consider festive colors and fabrics like reds, golds and silvers; or glitter, sequin and Satin. Appropriate attire ushers in the holiday spirit, serves as party décor, creates conversation and gives great visuals for the party pictures.
Rule No.: 4 – Avoid Gossip and Gin: In order for me to have a good time at a holiday party, I have to stay away from 2 things: negative people and excessive drinking. I avoid the Debbie Downers of the world; and you know who they are. They are nice people with great intentions, but they are always venting at the party about not getting a bonus check. They spend the entire night calculating the cost of the party and reiterating their preference to have had Christmas shopping money instead. They could ruin your party experience but nothing ruins a good time like a drunk adult. Accordingly, you should avoid excessive or irresponsible drinking. The goal is to have fun and (to definitely) enjoy the company sponsored open bar but in moderation. You don’t want alcohol-related outbursts, overly aggressive dance moves or your “Woe is Me” testimonies to become hot topics at the water cooler on Monday morning.
Rule No.: 5 – Network in Moderation and Practice Humility: I am a firm believer that we are all one connection away from going to the next level in our lives. Accordingly, a simple introduction to people you don’t recognize at the party is allowed. Party goers should however, refrain from offering their elevator pitches or resumes to the regional manager while at the party (unless requested). Everyone should know the magic is the follow, so for now, a simple, “My name is Crystal Chanel, and I have been here for seven years but I don’t recall ever meeting you”… is a great start for establishing a new relationship. Once we understand the rules of engagement, the holiday party becomes less stressful and related actions are more intentional. With that being said, I am personally inviting you to attend my end of the year party, It’s a Toast to 2017 and A Prosperous 2018!” There will be live music, giveaways, raffles, gourmet bites, wine and new people to meet. To receive the highest quality of hospitality, guests are strongly encouraged to RSVP online. Contact me direct for more information. I hope to see you there using these holiday party rules.