Etiquette Questions, Answered: Entertaining and Guests
If I Bring a Dish to a Party, Can I Take the Leftovers Home?
Q. If you’re asked to bring a dish to a Christmas party or some other function, is it appropriate to take any uneaten portion
of your dish back home with you?
A. It depends. Given the effort it takes to throw a get-together—decking halls with boughs of holly, vacuuming dog hair, and washing dozens of dishes after the guests have gone home to bed—a host is entitled to uneaten goodies. But if she doesn’t want them? They’re better off going home with you.
Settle the matter at the end of the party by saying, “If you would enjoy the leftovers, I can come back for my platter later in the week.” If the host nods and smiles, leave empty-handed. Conversely, if she responds by forcefully pressing your dish into your hands, by all means, take it.