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Holiday Manners

by Joy Weaver

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Holiday Manners It is the season for socializing! Company parties, neighborhood functions, and family gathering are just a few of the social get-togethers we are most likely to attend. Although excellent manners should be a part of our everyday habits, this season calls for more advanced awareness of civility. Many of the basics are overlooked, so take a minute to review this list, it will help you both personally and professionally during this special season.

1. Always err on the side of being conservative, especially when it comes to:
  • Drinking  - know your limit and drink on less than you think you can handle.
  • Dressing - if you can look down and see cleavage, so can everyone else – you choose! Don’t forget your    company culture and your own ethics.
  • Gift-giving - breaking the bank for gifts in December makes for a sad January. Plan in advance and make each gift well thought out not outrageously expensive.
Being excessive and extreme in any of these areas can cause you and others much embarrassment.

2. You must attend your company Christmas party.
This is a “must attend” event and can be a career-killer if you decide not to go—this shows disrespect for your company, supervisors, and colleagues. Big company events such as this take a great deal of effort and money to plan and execute. So be there – you do not have to stay all night. Put your game face on and make the most of it. You will be glad you did!

3. Thank the host/hostess for the party by:
a. Bringing a gift to the host/hostess to show your appreciation.
b. Thanking the host/hostess before you leave the party.
c. Sending a thank-you note afterwards.

4. Give gifts that honor the recipients.
Know their taste and always give a well-thought-out gift. What could be worse than spending your money on an expensive bottle of wine to give to the host and hostess of the party, only to find out later they do not drink alcohol.

5. When uncertain, call to confirm what “holiday attire” is.
This term can have various meanings to different people. It could mean anything from a sweater to holiday sequins.

Always respond within a few days of receiving an invitation. The host/hostess needs to know how many people will attend in order to plan the party.

7. Maintain a balanced conversation.
Refrain from boring “business talk” or too much “kid talk.” Also, mingle and meet new people. Avoid talking to the same group of people all evening. Your hostess will be appreciative if guests are socializing and perhaps meeting new friends - which leads me to my next point ….

Joy Weaver is a nationally renowned etiquette expert, speaker, spokesperson, and author of “Just Ask Joy… How to Be Socially Savvy in All Situations”—a book highly endorsed by Jean and Zig Ziglar. Joy represents designer Joseph Ribkoff and is a regular guest on ABC’s Good Morning Texas. She is nationally published and has been featured on ABC’s The View, in the Associated Press, New York Times, USA Today, Southern Living Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and The Dallas Business Journal. Protocol Enterprises/Just Ask Joy is based in Dallas and has served clients across the country since 2000. You can learn more at or visit her blog at or follow Joy at

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