What is a good guest? Someone who is thoughtful, helpful, blah blah blah. Whether you mean it or not, try to be on your best behavior and act like someone who is, shall I say, glad for being there! Here are some tips:

  1. Never come empty-handed: my mama told me this, and she was right. Candy, flowers, a bottle of wine works fine. If you are running out of time, check out our Shops for ideas and online ordering.
  2. Never outstay your welcome. I know you think it's not possible, but it is. Many guests stay too long, so long in fact their hosts are ready to stand up, pretend a yawn and make for the stairs.
  3. Always offer to help in the kitchen--before, during and after the meal. I know you don't want to do this, and if you do, you're faking. I always offer, and most of the time the good host/ess refuses. But I do it, and I pretend to like it.
  4. Pretend like you care by picking up glasses, emptying ashtrays and saying, "is there anything I can do?" several times during the evening. I do this mostly because full ashtrays and dishes with used toothpicks are very annoying to me. But think what a help you will be!
  5. Talk to guests who seem uncomfortable or out of place (so you can feel the same). I was just at a party, and there was a couple who didn't know anyone; my host and hostess were beside themselves because they were needed in the kitchen. I saved the day by striking up a conversation and sitting with them at the table. I made some new friends and got an extra lobster tail. No one has to know I did it for the tail, and my worrisome hosts were happy to give it to me (all right, I made that up, but it sounds good).
  6. Answer the door, hang up coats, escort people to the dining room--whatever it takes--if your host/ess is busy, and she considers you a close friend--otherwise, I wouldn't go opening closets and carrying coats up to the bedroom. But if on the other hand, you know your way around, it would be helpful and good of you to do this task.
  7. Run out for ice, beer or wine if the supply is getting low. This is your chance to look good and buy the beer or wine that you like. Grab it.
  8. Never leave without saying good-bye. I hate good-byes. I like to sneak out early and hope no one notices, but it always gets me in trouble. So learn from my mistakes.
  9. When you do leave, ask if you were a good guest and tell them it's because the Party Girl was sitting on your shoulder!

Happy Holidays.
The Party Girl at Party411.com