It’s the most wonderful time of year… when you’re not being driven crazy by relatives, overwhelmed by memories of last year’s drunken office party and confused about how the hell to navigate all the social events of the silly season. Thank goodness for Rachel, Crème’s etiquette coach, who’s put together these handy reminders...
Do try an e-card in place of traditional holiday cards. This will save you time and money and still let friends and family know that you are thinking of them during the holidays. I love Paperless Post’s beautiful free cards.
Do make a budget for gift giving. This prevents overspending or buying on impulse. If your budget is tight, think outside the box with your presents. How about planning a picnic with a friend or a movie date instead of exchanging gifts?
Do set a limit on how many drinks you will have before you get to your holiday office party—now, stick to it.
Do send a quick text to the host on your way to the holiday party and ask if they need any extra supplies. This could be a godsend to a host who just ran out of ice but can’t leave the house.
Do keep a few bottles of wine and snacks on hand for impromptu guests or neighbors who stop by.
Do buy one great holiday outfit and recycle it at all your parties by changing your sweater, jewelry or shoes.
Do download a ride-sharing app on your phone like Uber, Lyft or Sidecar. That way if you forgot to set that limit on drinks, you have a safe way to get home.
Do give thank you notes and tips (or a small gift) to the long-time hairdresser, nanny, and service people in your life.
Do set aside holiday traditions that aren’t serving you anymore. Maybe you’ve grown tired of the shopping-day-after-Christmas tradition; replace it with a fun family hike or a museum visit instead.
Don’t overstay your welcome when visiting friends and family. Let 3 days be your limit and move onto a hotel or Airbnb.
Don't stress if someone gave you a gift and you didn't have a gift for them in return; there is no rule here. A gracious thank you card is sufficient.
Don’t automatically default to wishing everyone ‘Merry Christmas!’ Try ‘Have a wonderful holiday season’ or ‘Happy Holidays’ if you’re not sure what—or if—the person celebrates.
Don’t stress over holiday traffic. There is a 100% chance of congested roads during the holidays. Build in more travel time, prep your Spotify holiday play list and download Serial.
Don’t overbook to the point of losing your routine (and mind). Things like keeping up your gym regimen, reserving time to read, getting eight hours of sleep or having your regular date night are crucial to staying sane and healthy during this hectic time.
Don’t forget to RSVP, even for big holiday parties. Your attendance, or lack of, really does affect the host’s food and drink budget.
Don’t attend parties if you’re sick. Stay home and catch up on Game of Thrones.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a chance to see everyone during the holidays. It could be just as fun and meaningful to see someone for New Years or in February for their birthday.
Don’t force the holiday spirit on anyone. Keep in mind that the holiday season can be a particularly difficult time for some people. You can extend a friendly invite or a warm holiday greeting, but if they don’t want to participate, leave them be.
Did we miss anything? Is there a tricky situation you're struggling with? Ask Rachel!