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John Daly: New Year’s Bash Dilemmas

​It’s almost 2015! And New Year’s celebrations often bring about more questions than answers, whether business–related or personal. I get asked these questions frequently. Let’s look at how to resolve them with ease.

What to Wear?

It’s perfectly fine to ask others how they will be dressing. Here’s a tip: In cold, dry winter weather, silk is victim to static cling, even in Santa Barbara! To prevent it, run a wire hanger over your clothes to eliminate electric charges.

May I Bring a Few Friends?

It’s only polite to ask in advance. Don’t spring it on the host. However, if you are thinking of bringing more than four friends, think again. That’s pushing it.

Do I Have to Bring a Host or Hostess Gift?

That’s the considerate thing to do.

If So, What?

Here are some thoughts:

» Flowers already arranged in a nice keepsake vase

» Chocolates (particularly if you know your host loves them)

» A selection of cards for birthdays, anniversaries and other happy occasions (that will save your host some time)

» A morning-after basket of teas and coffee, muffins or scones and aspirin!

Do I Have to Dress Up for a Masquerade Party?

If you want to show your appreciation, yes! If you don’t want to wear a costume, at least put on a mask. If your host gives out party hats and favors, get in the spirit and just do it!

Does It Matter If I’m Late?

If it’s a cocktail party, don’t arrive any later than an hour after start time, and that’s pushing it. Never arrive early.

If it is for a meal, be on time! It’s rude to be late and potentially will cause difficulty with the timing of the food presentation.

When’s a Good Time to Leave?

Look for clues. If your host starts yawning, taking off her shoes and rubbing her feet, that’s a signal. If you are in a large crowd and the lights are turned up, the food isn’t being replenished and the bar is closed, take the hint.

What About Posting on Social Media at the Party?

Whoever thought that posting your food at a party or a restaurant is worthy of social media is just plain wrong! Nobody cares! Remember that what you post should be of interest to others — something post-worthy to pass along. Don’t bombard Facebook, Instagram and the like with endless selfies of yourself at parties, and don’t take embarrassing photos of your friends in compromising positions. That’s not being a friend at all.

And above all, don’t criticize the party host, food or situation. Remember, that’s a good way to lose friends. Once posted, it never goes away. My best advice yet: unplug from technology when you are socializing.

How Do I Avoid an Unwanted Kiss at Midnight?

To prevent unwanted attention, get together with a bunch of your friends and plan a group hug when the clock strikes midnight. Huddling together will create almost a barrier to unwanted kisses.

How Do I Get Out of An Invitation?

Have your friends invited you to hang out or pay too much money to get into an uninteresting club, and you don’t want to go? Your attendance is not required. First of all, if you do go, you’ll be miserable. And, in turn, you’ll put a damper on everyone else’s fun.

Instead, just politely tell your friends you have other plans. If they push you, explain that you have some things you want to accomplish or that you need some alone time. If they are your friends, they’ll definitely understand.

Remember, never let others push or guilt you into something you don’t want to do.

How Do I Follow Up after Attending a Hosted New Year’s Eve Party?

Definitely send a handwritten thank-you note. It is the polite thing to do and will make you stand out in your host’s mind. If you did take nonembarrassing digital photos, email your host and send him or her a few.

The bottom line to all of this is to be safe. If you plan to drink, go with a designated nondrinking driver or take a cab or an Uber car.

Happy New Year!

John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for job search success. Click here to learn more about The Key Class or to get his book. If you have questions about business or social etiquette, just ask John at [email protected]. Connect with The Key Class on Facebook. Follow John Daly on Twitter: @johndalyjrClick here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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