The 10 Commandments of Holiday Season Etiquette

I’m modifying a topic of blog post past and giving it a holiday twist. Maybe I’m a little early, but honey, my Christmas tree is already up and looking fabulous! I love the holidays, and besides, the more time this post is up before the start of holiday craziness, the more time you’ll have to look at it and learn the ways of holiday season etiquette, sarah On The Go! style.


10. Family first. 

Even if you don’t have family living near you, or no family at all, we all have friends. Make it a point to spend these very sentimental moments of the year with people you love. It sounds really cheesy, but I guess I have a tendency to be good at cheesy. We all are so busy all the aspects of our lives that keep us away from the people we really love, and for too long. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years… these are the very important holidays which allow us to sit around and doing nothing but eat, drink and reminisce. Family and friend get-togethers are vital for the soul, don’t skip out. *Adds extra topping of cheese.

9. Holiday cards go a long way.

I learned this by way of my parents. Ever since I was teeny tiny, they would sit down at the dining room table and go fill out cards. I always thought it was adorable, and seeing as our household would get a ton, too, I knew that it was a very thoughtful gesture to partake in each year. Now, as I am older, I find myself sending cards out. Maybe not to the same capacity as my parents, but a few here and there certainly go a long way.

8. Put thought into your gifts

Your husband of three years, hopefully, won’t seek out divorce papers if you get him an awful, itchy, grandma-esque knit sweater, but chances are he’s not going to be all too impressed. Just because you’re with someone for a really long time doesn’t mean you have a pass to cheap out, or get them 40 pairs of socks because they said they “really needed it.” It’s hard after years of shopping for someone, I understand. Also, most of what they would go crazy over is usually far too expensive for our wallets. Luckily, there is the internet. Yep, you’re on it right now! You can get anything online. Use your head. Don’t wait until last minute for someone you really love. As for newbie-relationships, I always think the best way to go is with tickets to an event. It’s something the two of you can do together, for one. Moreover, if you make the trip to a concert, sporting event or play that she likes, you are so in!

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7. Make the most of your $10 dollar limit Secret Santa gift.

Just because you’re off the hook with a $10 limit for the work or friend-planned Secret Santa, grab-bag nightmare in which you consider it, doesn’t mean you can run to the dollar store and buy a “Shmankee Candle.” If you are in a Secret Santa for work and it’s a female, try and find out a little about her… I mean, stalk her cubicle for all I care. If it’s a grab-bag gift, get something nifty and useful: try for really awesome ideas. Under $10 shouldn’t be a problem if you look in the right places. Have fun with it and don’t be a Scrooge. These seemingly lame holiday activities actually have the potential to be fun.

*Below is a do-it-yourself movie gift pack for a grab-bag. I found it off of Pinterest, a great site for creative ideas.


6. Take it easy, the mall isn’t going anywhere. 

Waiting in line overnight for the train set your 5 year-old son has been screaming over is just insane. Pre-orders on Amazon and similar sites can save you a huge hassle, and kill the risk of being a complete lunatic at the mall. I see it every single year: hordes of mothers who ban together to mow over any single person who gets in their way of a sale. The stress of running around town for some dumb material item is not worth it. It’s just a thing. If you need it that bad, start shopping now and spare innocent holiday shoppers like myself the pain of seeing you act like a jungle animal over $1 dollar off some Xbox game your robot kid does not even need.

5.  Channel your inner-child. 

Slightly contradictory to the title of this post, there is no etiquette when it comes to channeling your inner-child… around the holiday season. Get off your lazy butt and take your nieces and nephews sledding. How could that not be fun? Not only take part in the obviously fun snow activities (which is what I like to call “free fun”) but make some cut-out sugar cookies. Remember when you were little and you’d help your mother, or whoever, roll out the dough, cut, bake and decorate? Um, so cute, even if you’re a big manly man who grunts at the thought of baking! Hang ornaments, watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeerand reflect on holidays past. It’s a healthy and normal thing to do, promise.

Could this utterly adorable .gif of Rudolph ever really get old? I think not.


4. Post dinner clean-up, you’re invited.

Since Thanksgiving is first up, we’ll focus on that. If you are going anywhere but your own house, which means you are not cooking, then you are cleaning. After hours in the kitchen, tons of money on food and desserts and liquors, more time spent cleaning and decorating, the least you can do is take plates to the kitchen sink. Offer to put out dessert plates, make coffee… whatever! You don’t want to look like an ungrateful schmuck. And even if the host says no, you still put that ass to work.

3. Spiked egg-nog is awesome, but easy does it!

You don’t have to tell me to pour myself a glass of  holiday cheer twice! I love an excuse to down red wine and have sing a-longs. But if you’re chugging Coronas with your boss while fist-pumping, on your cubicle in that very classy little black dress, chances are you will be the talk of the office come Monday. Maybe you want that? Most likely not. It may be hard to contain your inner-alcoholic when there is free booze everywhere, but unless it’s a family/close friend party, you will be O.K. with only a couple of drinks in your system.


2. Don’t drive like an asshole.

Does this need a description? Get in your car, put on some tunes- and your seatbelt- and take it friggen easy. There’s nowhere that you need to be that is more important than where the person in front of you needs to be. What should be a year-round concept, it really takes effect during the holiday season. Riding people’s asses, break-checks, cut-offs, finger-flipping, driving over 80 mph on the highway… well, they all make you an incredible douche bag. In conjunction with drinking and driving, the holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the road. Just relax, there are families in travel! You can’t want to get virtually anywhere that bad.

1. Never go to a party empty-handed.

Number one for a reason: I have seen this happen far too much and often overhear what people think about it. If you are invited to a party, especially one where you are a guest of a guest, you better show up with something in your hand. I’m not talking a big wrapped present, no no. It’s easy as pie! A very clever and unplanned pun I just used there, pie is actually a really great item to bring! Other acceptable items: wine, beer, liquor… duh, holiday-themed desserts, any type of food (not to be outdone with the main course: dips, casseroles), and even flowers. This rule goes for small dinner parties as well. It might pain you at the thought of shelling out $10 bucks on some wine, but the gesture goes a long way. Being called cheap and/or tacky is more embarrassing than pretty much any other insult.

Am I missing anything? Share below!


If you enjoyed this post try:

The 10 Commandments of Social Situations

The 10 Commandments of Dating

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