Everyday Etiquette: Holiday Etiquette Tips
By Diane Gottsman

\"EverydayNothing is better than the aroma of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven while the fireplace crackles with orange and red flames. During the holiday season, family traditions are welcomed and encouraged. Children love to sing, so what better way to spend time together than walking door to door, making a joyful noise caroling?!

Unfortunately, every holiday season has its Scrooges - those folks who are actually annoyed at the thought of happy carolers at their door. So why not host a holiday caroling party at home to get the season off to a good start?

Simple holiday party etiquette is something that should be taught and emphasized throughout the year.

  • Let your child be involved in the guest list and invitation process. A homemade card or personal telephone call is a nice touch.
  • If there are any special requests, such as "Bring your favorite holiday carol," make it clear in advance.
  • Children love to help, so get them involved in making the gift bags. Don\'t worry about lopsided bows!
  • The day of the party, allow kids to help clean and decorate.
  • Along with an adult, children should greet each guest at the door.
  • Help your child introduce friends to other friends.
  • Let your child help with preparing trays of kid-friendly food. (Check with other parents in advance for possible food allergies.)
  • Have planned activities to keep the kids engaged.
  • If the party is in the evening, don\'t let it drag on too long. An hour and a half is plenty of time to sing carols, enjoy a few games and still be tucked in to bed in a timely manner.
Diane Gottsman is a nationally recognized etiquette and protocol expert who leads programs for children as well as adults. To read her previous columns, visit the Etiquette Archives. To get holiday party ideas, click: Holiday Card Party.