Black Women's Improvement Project (BWIP)

The Holidays Are Upon Us. Do You Know How to be a Gracious Hostess or Guest?

The holiday season is again upon us and during this season many of us will either be hosting a fabulous party or two or the guest of one. Whether you are the guest or the host/hostess, being gracious is the key to having a good time and enjoying the festivities. Regardless on what side of the table you stand consider the following suggestions for smooth flowing festivities.

For the Host/Hostess:

1. Provide Clean and comfortable surroundings.

2. Find out ahead of time the eating practices of your guests, you don’t want your vegans, vegetarians, or low sodium diet guests excluded from enjoying the abundance of food you have prepared. Have a variety of food and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) available  for everyone’s enjoyment.

3.  Choose your guests carefully . If you have one friend you know is notorious for stirring up arguments with their extreme political views don’t invite them, you want people who are cohesive and will add to the flavor of the celebration not put a damper on it and ruin the good time for everyone.

4. Make sure the proper introductions are made so that no one feels excluded.

5. Great party games and/or entertainment (Dj’s, Kareoke, etc.) are a great way to avoid lulls in the evening.

6. Provide a nice party favor for your guests as they leave. Make it something  they can use, I cannot tell you how many cheesy coffee mugs, champagne glasses inscribed with said event I have seen sitting on shelves at the local thrift store. A really nice wine bottle opener with their name in a nice paint color can also double as their seating table place card for example, something edible like gourmet preserves or truffles will definitely be utilized.

7. Don’t forget to smile and laugh throughout the evening, after all you set the tone, keep it fun!

8. Try to thank your guests personally as they leave for coming. They could be anywhere this night and they chose to spend time with you!

For the Guest

1. If you have received a written invitation, RSVP as soon as possible. The host/hostess uses these to determine how much food and drink to purchase and prepare.

2. Arrive on time, if it is a sit down dinner, please call your host if you are going to be late out of courtesy for them and the other guests.

3. Dress for the occasion, if you are not sure, ask the Host/Hostess.

4. Do not arrive empty handed, bring a nice bottle of wine, chocolates, etc.

5. Be polite and respectful of your fellow guests.

6. Do not criticize the food and drinks and please pick up after yourself (I know this may be common knowledge to some but you would be surprised how careless some guests are in word and deed)

7.  Don’t be the last to leave unless you plan to help clean up.

8. Send a thank you note within a week after the event. ( Personally I keep thank you notes in my purse and car to have one ready to slip into the mailbox as I leave if the party is at a house or at the post office mailbox if it is an apartment or condo.)

I hope you find these tips helpful and I pray you have a safe and happy holiday season!

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