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It’s that festive time of year when the Christmas holidays are just around the corner. Here are 7 etiquette tips for the Christmas holidays that will show you have great manners and make it more fun to fa-la-la-la-la with coworkers, family and friends.

  1. Learn the importance of the RSVP. When kind folks invite you to the office party, dinner party or holiday open house for drinks, do RSVP as soon as possible. To RSVP really means to just let the planner know if you’re coming or not. It shows respect to their time, energy and resources in planning. Also, don’t take a plus one unless indicated on the invitation.
  2. Do attend the office holiday party. It shows you’re a loyal team player. Have fun, but it’s essential to remember it’s still a work event. That means dress appropriately, don’t imbibe too much and stay off your phone. Also, be sure to introduce your spouse or guest if they are included in the invitation. And, try not to “talk shop.” You may also like to read  6 Ways to be Positively Polished at the Office Holiday Party.
  3. Be a gracious overnight house guest. First, make sure the dates of your arrival and departure are convenient to your host’s schedule. Do hang your wet towels, make your bed and follow the house rules, such as removing shoes. A thoughtful gesture is to take your hosts out for a nice dinner at least once during your stay.
  4. Tip those who serve you. If you have a regular nail tech, hair stylist or dog groomer, give them a little extra during the holidays in addition to your regular tip. I even tip our trash hauler $20 along with a plate of homemade cookies. (And instead of leaving our emptied container at the curb, they take time to place it by the garage door each week!)
  5. Have a little stash of extra gifts. We’ve all been embarrassed by getting a gift from someone and we didn’t have a gift for them in return. Graciously accept it. “You’re so kind. Thank you! And, I hope I can take you to lunch/coffee sometime soon.” Or, have a stash of homemade salted caramel sauce in pint jars. Or, even pick up a few gift cards that anyone can use and place each one in a holiday card. If you are caught without a gift, you can discreetly fill in the ‘to’ and ‘from’ before the event is over and share your gift.
  6. Show your thanks. Before leaving the office party or holiday open house, find the host and express your appreciation for the hospitality. And it’s never out of fashion to write a brief, but sincere, handwritten thank-you note the next day.
  7. Learn a little bit about other holidays around Christmas. A few of your coworkers, friends and neighbors may celebrate other religious or cultural holidays during or near the same period as Advent and Christmas. Take a moment to learn about the Jewish holiday Hanukkah, the African holiday Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day (Epiphany), and Chinese New Year. This awareness helps to understand and respect those who celebrate a bit differently and makes for fun small talk.

The Christmas holidays are extra busy with preparations and activities. But, good manners and a little extra kindness are never out of season.  Use these 7 etiquette tips for the Christmas holidays  with coworkers, friends and family. Plus, you’ll stay on Santa’s nice list and help keep the Yuletide gay!

Rachel Wagner is a licensed business etiquette consultant, trainer and speaker. As an authority on etiquette and protocol issues facing today’s global business arena, she shares engaging and interactive content with corporate clients from a variety of industries across the United States. She is the etiquette expert for Fox23 in Tulsa and has been quoted or featured in local and national media outlets including Forbes, Money and the Washington Post.

Photo source: Rachel Wagner

Poinsettia photo at Southwood  Greenhouse & Nursery