So you were invited to someone’s home for a night or a few days this holiday season. What should you do or bring to the occasion? What should you possibly leave at the door?
We love to entertain our military family, but sadly have done so less and less as common courtesy has taken a back seat.
I’m no Emily Post but I have had years of experience entertaining and being entertained. I know some of our readers are just starting out in the military life and social scene. People you may not know well will happily invite you over for a holiday event and it could be a very new experience for you.
The first thing to be mindful of is a timely and sincere RSVP. Nothing irritates a host more than to get a vague response to an invitation. You are coming or you’re not and you need to inform them as soon as possible for planning purposes. They could invite someone else over and save them from a dining hall or quiet at-home Christmas in your place.
Next is arriving on time. If there is a reason that you will be late, then use that telephone and call your host.
Should you bring something? I was taught to never arrive to a dinner or party empty handed. Ask if you can bring anything. Or better yet, offer specific items that the host/ess may forget about such as a bag of ice, whipped topping or another dessert option. If they insist on needing nothing, still bring something like a 12-pack of soda, cookies or chips. It will be appreciated.
Turn your cell phone off or on vibrate. Every call doesn’t have to be answered when you’re out with company. Texting can wait until after the meal is done.
Do ask if you can help set the table, stir a pot, clear the table or even wash the dishes. You may be told that they have it covered but the gesture speaks volumes about your appreciation.
If you bring small children, please mind them. Bring their favorite toys and have them clean up what they mess up.
You should ask if there are Smoking and chewing locations. We usually have a designated spot for that.
Remember to say thank you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a colleague or a superior doing the entertaining. Manners and courtesy should be shown to all, and you will be remembered fondly as a joy to host.