Please put a penny in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny then a half penny will do. If you haven’t got a half penny, then Buddha bless you. I love the spirit of Christmas…giving gifts, gathering with family, friends and making a chilly winter day feel campfire warm. This is one holiday that I rarely host and if you are lucky like me, I would like to share some tips for being a treasured guest.
First of all, don’t be a lush. Last week, I went to a fancy holiday soirée at the type of residence that has staff and shit. There was a 30 foot Christmas tree, a swell crowd, an impressive spread of sushi, cupcakes and gourmet cheeses. I spent the night swilling Veuve Clicquot like it was fresh lake water that I found in the Sahara Desert. Suddenly, the bubbly got the best of my Irish and I had a conversation with a friend that went like this:
“You know, I’ve always thought you were cool. Well, except one night when we were all at Pint and I got stuck in a corner talking to you. I was thinking, ‘He’s okay, too bad he smells like dog shit.’ Then I went home and went to take off my shoes and they were covered in dog poop. To think, the whole time I was the culprit. [insert loud snort and slap on his shoulder that almost knocks him down] So, I just want to clear things up and let you know that I don’t smell like dog crap. You can smell me. I smell like some expensive perfume that I just sprayed all over myself in [the host’s] bathroom.”
I’m pretty sure he walked away. So, I picked up some random camera and started taking about 35 photos of myself making drunk kissie faces.
Don’t be that girl or guy. It’s not very sophisticated. I get a free pass for being the Slacky Hipster, but you’re not me.
Do! Dress up … I’m wearing Rachael Roy dresses at every holiday occasion. Her line is super affordable at full price, but almost everything goes on sale. Check it out at Macy’s. Dressing smart sends a signal to the host that you’ve prepared for the party and appreciate the invitation. Bling is in … feathers, fur, sequins, and fabulous accessories. Men, just make sure there is no dog shit on your shoes and wear a suit jacket or stylish shirt, cardie combo. Oh and never ever wear cheap shoes. Your feet will thank you and so will I.
Do! Bring a small gift. Here are some ideas: remote control helicopters … perfect to deliver drugs to party patrons (JK, I’m so Betty Ford). Cool ornaments, like those from Jonathan Adler … also, Bloomingdales has very mod découpage ornaments with city scenes. I love them (and they’re a terrific buy). For the host who loves to cook, a box of spices from a Spice House or Penzey’s is a winner. Another hit: cutting board topped with an appetizer and cheese knife. Friends can enjoy the treat and the host will love adding equipment to their kitchen. Perfect for the host on New Years Eve idea is to make a meal to be consumed the next day … bloody mary mix, vodka, Advil, an icepack and a cheeseburger in a can (or a box of sliders).
You can never ever go wrong with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot or bourbon. Especially bourbon.
Follow up with a thank-you or an apology. A written note or phone call goes a long way. Sometimes, I send a book that I’ve talked about with the host at the party. This way, the next time I see them I can immediately talk about the book, rather than how I was drinking champagne in a pint glass, stole perfume, and waked out the door with shit on my shoes.