How to Be a Great Dinner Party Guest
Whether you're making the dinner party rounds during the holiday season, enjoying laid-back summer barbecues or attending special events, learning how to be a better dinner party guest is always on the menu. Entertaining is a lot of work for the host. Just because you're not in charge doesn't mean you can't contribute to the event or lighten the load. Check out these tips to help you be the very best dinner party guest you can be.
Offer to Come Early
If you know the host quite well, you should offer to show up a little early (maybe 30-45 minutes ahead of everyone else) to help set up. Make sure you phrase it in a very friendly way, offering to help set things up if necessary. Hosts often need an extra set of hands, and if they're not too proud, they'll be so glad you asked! If you aren't needed early, show up right on time, give or take 10 minutes only. Cooking dinner can be stressful without worrying about it all getting cold before your final guest arrives or having to skip on final touches because everyone is 15 minutes early.
Make Allergies and
Unless you're going to a 100-person party where you're going to fade into the crowd or dinner is not being served formally, make sure you alert the host of any food allergies. This may seem like a nuisance, but an emergency trip to the hospital is a quick way to ruin a party. When responding to the invitation, let them know what you're allergic to, but offer to bring a dish you can eat and share, or even just let them know you won't be eating. Otherwise, they'll be mortified to watch you ignore every plate that hits the table to only find out you have allergies and couldn't eat a bite all night!
Offer to Contribute Something
This could be a plate of cookies, a few bottles of wine, or even a passed appetizer. You don't want to overstep your boundaries by showing up with an extra and unnecessary cheesecake, but it's a nice offer. You never know...you could be taking a huge load off the host's shoulders.
Be on Your Best Behavior
Don't take shots. Don't drink too much. Avoid talking about politics. Stay positive. Drunks, politics, and negative people can really ruin a party, no matter how jolly the occasion. Make sure you avoid these pitfalls, or you may never get invited to another holiday party again. Stay happy and positive, at least on the outside!
Nobody, including you, wants a stuffy party environment. You can have a fun, laidback attitude without insulting anyone. Just relax a little, offer to help where you can, and enjoy your time.
Participate in Everything
Whether it's general conversation or different games and activities the host has set up, like a White Elephant Gift Exchange, make sure you participate. This includes taking a bite of the Brussels sprouts. We all know the White Elephant game is just a way for people to embarrass each other or get rid of cheap toys, but just do it; even if it's really the very last thing you want to do. You've chosen to come to the party, so you've got to make the best of it! The only things you can politely stay away from are drinking games and karaoke.
Send a Thank You Gift
This isn't something to contribute to the party, but a special gift specifically for the host. You could send flowers, wine, cookies, candy, a gift certificate, or just a card. You might not want to send cookbooks or a party-planning guide though! Make it something pretty general that most people would appreciate, and send a note saying how much you enjoyed their party and that you appreciate being invited. If you remember something particularly great about that night (such as the decorations or something that was served) mention it specifically in the note. Appreciation can make all that effort worthwhile.
Whether you're a party guest or host, The Lakeside Collection has all the supplies, food gifts, and greeting cards you need at fantastic values that will keep you coming back.