30 Biggest Holiday Party No-No’s

Don’t be the one everybody is whispering about the next day.

30 Biggest Holiday Party No-No’s

Don’t be the one everybody is whispering about the next day.

Ah, the holiday party. Unless you’re a hermit, these gatherings are unavoidable. It might be a party hosted by friends, your family, or your office, but you’re going to get invited to at least one holiday party this season. And it’s either going to be the social highlight of your year or the humiliating disaster you spend the next twelve months living down.

Steer clear of these egregious holiday party fouls and you’ll not only survive—you’ll also be the most put-together person in the room. And for more rules on how to comport yourself, check out the 23 Old-Fashioned Etiquette Rules That Still Apply Today.

holiday party faux pas

1
Forgetting to RSVP.

Letting a host know whether you actually plan on attending is a fairly big deal—unless you don’t intend on eating, drinking, or taking up any space.

holiday party faux pas

2
Failing to accurately prepare your plus-one.

Whether you’re bringing a romantic partner or just a pal, make sure they know what to expect before they walk in the door. Do the hosts have any peculiar quirks? Who should they avoid at all costs? Is the fruitcake safe to eat? What about the “mystery punch?” Trust me: Holiday parties are often dangerous, so every couple needs a game plan. And for more dating advice, check out these heart-warming relationship sayings that will inspire your relationship. 

holiday party faux pas

3
Being the first to arrive

If a party starts at 5pm and you knock on the door at 5pm, your host absolutely wasn’t expecting you. “Fashionably late” is another way of saying “on time.” To master the art of punctuality, be sure you know the 15 Easy Hacks That Will Make You Show Up At The Right Time—Every Time.

holiday party faux pas

4
Showing up with a cold.

Nobody wants to miss out on the fun, but if you’re sick and even mildly contagious, showing up anyway is the dictionary definition of selfish. Remember: This isn’t about you feeling better. It’s about not getting everybody else sick. Feeling a cold coming on? Here’s how to stop it before it starts. 

holiday party faux pas

5
Launching into politics.

If the conversation naturally flows in the direction of current events, it’s OK to wade into those waters. But don’t you dare start there.

holiday party faux pas

6
Over-serving yourself

This one goes without saying. And if you’re bartender? Well, be sure you know the 20 Cocktails Everyone Should Know How to Make.

holiday party faux pas

7
Being the last one to leave.

If it’s just you and the host, trust me: It’s time to grab your coat and call an Uber.

holiday party faux pas

8
Gossiping.

Unless you’ve done extensive research on all the invited guests, it’s a terrible idea to be the holiday party gossip. Bringing up a topic like “You won’t believe who cheated on his wife” stops being fun the moment you realize you’re talking to that guy’s wife.

holiday party faux pas

9
Staring at your phone.

You’re better than this.

holiday party faux pas

10
Ignoring the dress code.

You shouldn’t wear your “ugly sweater” to a black-tie event, and vice versa.

holiday party faux pas

11
Skipping the buffet.

Nobody wants to look like a pig, but declining even a nibble from the party platter could lead to trouble down the line if you’re drinking. Three glasses of wine on an empty stomach? Don’t do it!

holiday party faux pas

12
Bringing a first date.

There’s nothing wrong about coming to a holiday party alone, especially if the party is at a friend’s house. It gets weird, however, when you bring a date that your host (and you) barely knows. Your guest is your responsibility. If he or she doesn’t something really embarrassing, it’s on you.

holiday party faux pas

13
Sticking to your zone.

You show up at a crowded party and immediately gravitate to the people you recognize, and end up staying in the same corner all night, having the same conversations you always do. Be brave: Find a stranger and introduce yourself.

holiday party faux pas

14
Not thanking the host.

Acknowledging their effort is just good manners.

holiday party faux pas

15
Making really inappropriate jokes.

Know your audience!

holiday party faux pas

16
Showing up with Tupperware.

Unless you live there, you ain’t leaving with the leftovers.

holiday party faux pas

17
Messing with the music.

Can’t stand all that Burl Ives? Host your own party then. Unless you’re explicitly asked, it’s not your job to DJ.

holiday party faux pas

18
Dancing like nobody’s watching.

Sorry, but they are, and they can’t believe their eyes.

holiday party faux pas

19
Overdoing it with sugary “themed” cocktails

They sound like fun, but with all of that alcohol and those fruity, sugary mixers, they’re also a one-way-ticket to getting embarrassingly drunk.

holiday party faux pas

20
Sharing wild party photos on social media.

Pretend the holiday party is like Vegas. What happens there should stay there.

holiday party faux pas

21
Bringing your kid (to an adults-only party)

If children are welcome at a holiday party, your host will likely tell you in advance.

holiday party faux pas

22
Bringing a pet.

We know you love your pooch, but even the most well-behaved dog doesn’t belong at a holiday party. Leave ‘em at home.

holiday party faux pas

23
Leaving with someone else’s coat.

Check the pockets. Always check the pockets!

holiday party faux pas

24
Oversharing.

As much as the other guests would love to hear about your surgery or why you just can’t get along with your mother-in-law, maybe those are conversational nuggets you save for another occasion.

holiday party faux pas

25
Taking part in “Secret Santa” and then being a Scrooge.

Rule: If spending cap is $50, spend somewhere in the realm of $50. Don’t spend $5.

holiday party faux pas

26
Thinking that mistletoe is an invitation.

Dangling a plant over somebody’s head does not give you permission to kiss them.

holiday party faux pas

27
Dissing your boss.

Even if it’s not an office party, this is a bad idea. Finding out that guy you met over by the dip goes to the same country club as your boss isn’t something you want to find out after the fact.

holiday party faux pas

28
Talking over everyone.

You’ve probably had too many holiday-themed cocktails.

holiday party faux pas

29
Bringing a guitar.

Trying to turn a party into an open mic is one of the worst party moves anyone can do.

holiday party faux pas

30
Driving home drunk.

You know why it’s stupid to get behind the wheel with even the slightest buzz.

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