The First Rule of Holiday Parties

Never. Show up. Empty-handed.

By The Editors
November 3, 2015 9:00 am

From Friendsgiving to dinner at the in-laws to the hopefully-not-regrettable office shindig, holiday party season is near.

So make a good impression. Beginning with the rule of rules:

A gentleman. Never. Shows up empty-handed.

Your gracious host or hostess is minding the legwork. A proper gift is the least you can do.

Here’s what to know. And — be the host your boss, his wife or your girlfriend’s parents — what to bring in tow.

The Rules

1) First things first: reply to the invitation promptly. Whether a resounding “I’ll be there” or a cordial “Regrets,” it’s good form to let the hosting party know your status in a timely fashion.

2) Know your host. Don’t know your host? Make that your primary order of business. As in: don’t give a bottle of whiskey to a guy riding the wagon. The name of the good-gifting game is thoughtfulness.

3) Don’t get too personal. No perfumes, no personal effects, no underpants.

4) Don’t get them something they have to keep alive — e.g., potted plants — unless, of course, you hold keen insider knowledge of the host’s green thumb.

5) When in doubt, go seasonal. Bourbon, blankets and mugs: in. Slip ‘n Slides: out.

6) Remember: this is a gift. While spirits and treats are welcome, your host has no obligation to share them with you. Translation: don’t expect to drink the booze you brought.

7) Wrap it. Or pay someone to wrap it. Just make sure it’s wrapped.

The Gifts

For the Inner-Circle Soirée 

1. Airplane Cocktail Shaker   2. Handmade Leather Football  3. Pewter Flask  4. Barrel Whiskey 5. Hammerhead Shark Bottle Opener  6. Linen Throw  7. Handmade Ceramic Growler

For the Dinner with New Friends

1. Copper & Steel Cocktail Shaker  2. Wine Candles  3. Salts of the World  4. Moscow Mule Mugs 5. Shake Cocktail Book  6. Bike Serving Tray  7. A Date with Wine Stopper

For the Family Affair

1. Tea Light Lantern  2. Linen Banner  3. Honey Flight  4. The Guide 5. Steel Dinner Bell  6. Avion Espresso Liquer  7. Whiskey Wedge  8. Nordic Wool Blanket 

For the Boss’s House

1. Leather Valet  2. Petanque Set  3. Nutcracker  4. Havana Leather Cup Set 5. Harmony Whiskey  6. Horn Knife & Corkscrew  7. Birdie Carafe  8. Bottle Vase

For the Client or Colleague Come-Together

1. Pewter Foxhead Jigger  2. Warm Mug Kit  3. Campfire Incense  4. Cast Iron Spice Mill 5. Old-Timey Matches  6. Moonshine Candle  7. Texas BBQ Smoking Bags  8. Cabin Spray 

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