Newsweek invited third-generation etiquette expert Lizzie Post to help Holiday get-togetherers and get-togetherees avoid awkward moments with teetotalers at their Christmas parties. Post offered six tips that we loved so much, we repurposed them in a humorous fashion!
When you're hosting:
1. Never Assume Don't say, "Can I get you a cocktail?" Instead, just hand them a drink when they walk in the door. It's cold out! That's hospitality.
2. Tap That Know the early signs of drunkenness, such as slurred words, obscenities or unusual confessions. Now your party is really getting good. If you see insobriety, we suggest pouring 'em stronger and turning up the music. As Lizzie Post says, "Cork it, and put the wine away for the night." It's rye time.
3. Be Subtle Don't announce "Please, no booze" on a written invitation. "Invitations are supposed to be inviting," Post says. "It's not polite. You don't put 'No smoking' on an invitation or little signs around the house." No, you man up and let people drink and smoke. Because it's a "party." Not a damned stupid 12 step meeting—which, we might add, you can certainly light up during.
What about when you're the guest? First, congrats; you've made the right decision. No cleanup and you can leave when you get bored! But there are still some etiquette tips you should keep in mind.
1. Considerate Gifting Don't bring a bottle of wine or Scotch to a party unless you're asked to. It's their job to get you drunk. Grab a sixpack on the way up if you're worried they'll run out of the good stuff. Then hide it!
2. Don't ask "Never ask anyone why they're not drinking, even indirectly. It can seem like a harmless ice-breaker, but in fact it's downright rude to hand a woman a Coke and say, 'Expecting?'" We have nothing to add to this tip. It is totally inappropriate to hand people virgin Cokes or invite pregnant ladies.
3. Don't tell You're not obliged to explain why you're drinking. No one needs to know the extent of your pain. And you'll tell them when you've had enough, goddammit.