Etiquette Questions, Answered: Holidays and Gifts
Q. When you receive an invitation to a holiday party, is it OK to bring a guest if it’s not mentioned on the invitation? I’m single.
A. If you’re invited to a cocktail party for a reasonably large crowd, one where an extra person won’t make much of a difference, it might be fine. But why not call to check anyway? It’s a courtesy that your host will appreciate, if only so she won’t be forced to greet your plus-one by saying, “Welcome to my home…um…whoever you are.”
However, if the party is more formal (or intimate), check to make sure there’s room at the table for your friend or date. Chances are, holiday spirit will prompt your host to say, “The more, the merrier.”
But don’t think only about the feelings of the party thrower. Consider whether your companion would feel at home at the event. Say the host is inviting her six best friends from college to an annual holiday reunion, where you will all spend the evening reminiscing. I’ll be blunt here: Don’t bring a friend. I’d also suggest you keep guests away from your office party, especially if your coworkers plan to spend the time exchanging quips about the hopeless IT department.