“OMG!!!!” is all I have to say sometimes. Like most people I find myself in the most awkward situations at the worst possible time. But then again, when is a good time for social disaster? To be perfectly honest with you it feels like the holiday season brings on special quagmires to put my etiquette skills to the test.
The holiday season does not have to be stressful and full of drama. It can be calm and sweet, like the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar…yum. But I digress. This is about awkward and crazy moments being diverted by my simple etiquette tools, not food. Well, here are some helpful etiquette tips to get you out of the most awkward holiday predicaments.
You have an invite to a holiday party you do not want to attend. Always RSVP. Let the host know you will not attend. You don’t want to lie, so just say “I’m sorry, I will not be able to make your party.” Don’t give a lame excuse unless he/she ask. If the host is begging to know the details why you cannot come to their soiree, tell them you have a prior engagement that you must attend. This prior engagement could be scooping Fluffy’s litter box. Who cares! Just don’t tell a lie or give fake details. Change the subject. “Sorry I cannot go, but lets grab coffee soon.”
You receive a gift from someone you did not plan (or want) to buy a gift for. If you don’t already have that shocked and excited face on put it on now. The key is be grateful that someone thought of you enough to spend a little time and money to see a smile on your face. Give them a smile and a big thank you. It’s okay to share you did not expect a gift, but do not dwell on not giving a gift in return. If your budget allows get them a Thank you, Back at ya‘ gift. At the very least get a card. People don’t remember what you give them. They will always remember how you made them feel.
The entire family keeps asking when you are getting married, getting a man, having a baby, etc. Ugh! I dread getting the relationship status questions from family members. It’s a triple whammy: 1. Acknowledgement that you do not have what they are asking about. 2. You are surrounded by people you know, but don’t share that type of personal information with. 3. There is no good answer (until now) that will shut them up. This is what you say, “Auntie Jo, I know you really want me to (fill in the blank), but God is still working on me (future hubby, the baby, work, whatever). I’m willing to wait for the right time and the right one by God’s plan. As soon as it happens you will be the first to know, because I know how concerned you are.” I promise you, Auntie Jo and everyone in ear shot will never ask you about your relationship status again.
You receive a gift you HATE. Okay, you have dropped all the hints for the gold necklace you really wanted and you still get the crappy scarf. I know you are little hurt and really pissed. I get it. We have all opened up a gift and soon after wanted to throw it in the roaring fire-place… along with your clueless gift giver. But let’s stop and find a place of calm. Remind yourself that he took the time to think of you and buy you a gift. Did you need a scarf? Can you use this scarf? Take it and be happy with it. Think about his budget and your needs. If you truly believe that his disregard for your ideal gift is intentionally a way to hurt you, break-up. End the relationship before the new year. A man who loves you wants to make you happy. Start 2013 with a clean slate and a new you.
You get drunk at the company Christmas party. Give yourself a two drink maximum. The company Christmas party is a great way for you to network and get to know your colleagues. Leave getting drunk and wasted for your wild night out with your friends. But if you find yourself in the awkward position of explaining your drunken behavior with your boss, start with an apology. I would express how strong the punch was and how I had an empty stomach. Close your apology with a promise that your behavior will never be repeated. Seal that apology with a bit of over-time and focus. Just because you mishandled your drinking does not mean your job has to suffer.
Happy Holiday’s Hotties