How to properly behave during the holidays

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The holidays are a time to celebrate but they can also be a time for stress. From office parties and family dinners to gift-giving and party hosting, it's not easy to navigate the do's and don'ts of the holiday season. Thankfully etiquette expert Lisa Orr knows a thing or two about how to stay on Santa's nice list. 

MANAGING FAMILY MEMBERS WHO DON'T GET ALONG
Be proactive. If you know you have a family member you think might be problematic, talk to them beforehand. 

MOVING PLACECARDS AT THE DINNER TABLE
Do not move the place cards, as tempting as it might be! If you notice that you’re assigned to sit next to someone you don’t like, let the host know and he/she can make an adjustment. 

LEAVING YOUR FAMILY EARLY TO PARTY WITH FRIENDS
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to go see your friends. That’s what the holidays are all about! But you should be transparent with your family. Let them know in advance. Say something like, “There’s a party I’d like to go to later tonight. What time would be convenient for me to leave that wouldn’t disrupt your event?”

POLITELY ENDING YOUR PARTY
Make sure you include an end time on your invitation so people know when it’s time to wind down. Also, give people notice about half an hour before you want the party to be wrapped up. Ask them if they’d like a last drink, for example.

HANDLING DRUNK GUESTS
Be sensitive about it. Take that person away from the rest of the group (ideally you should have another person with you) and politely suggest they have a coffee or water. 

BOTHERING NEIGHBOURS WITH CHRISTMAS LIGHTS/DECOR
The goal is to not disrupt your community. Set your lights on a timer that will turn them off at a time you feel is appropriate for your neighbourhood. 

POTLUCKS
You should expect to leave the food you brought to the potluck behind. Bring a disposable gift so you don’t have to worry about getting your own dish back. Also, even though at a potluck you’re bringing a dish, you should still bring a hostess gift. 

BRINGING YOUR OWN FOOD TO A DINNER PARTY
It’s very lovely to offer to bring your own food to a party, however be prepared for the hostess to say no. 
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