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10 ways to be the perfect guest this Christmas

Avoid any festive faux-pas with these tips from Debrett's

Chloe Best

Whether you're visiting the in-laws or going to a Christmas dinner party, there are ten things you must do to be the perfect guest over the festive season, according to Debrett's. The etiquette experts have teamed up with Sainsbury's to reveal their top tips for avoiding any festive faux-pas, from bragging about your gifts on social media to offending your host! Advice includes bringing a bottle for your host (but don't expect to drink it yourself), offering a culinary contribution, and ensuring you show your gratitude for any gifts you receive. Read on for your need-to-know guide:

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Sainsbury’s and Debrett’s Guide to Christmas Gift-Giving:

  1. Saying Thank You: The handwritten thank you letter may be on the decline but that doesn't mean you can get away without a show of gratitude – if there's no headed stationery available, then digital thanks are better than no thanks at all.
  2. Bringing a bottle: Don't expect to drink a bottle you bring to a party, but do be prepared to open one you're given.
  3. Social Strife: Posting presents on social media is bad form, as well as unseemly gloating you could also risk outing a re-gifter.
  4. Re-presenting: A hamper you won't eat all of? Unfortunately, a re-gifted paté or jar of piccalilli just won't cut the mustard when it comes to good gift-giving etiquette – splash out and buy them their own biscuits, luxury oils or box of chocolates.
  5. Sweet Treats: Christmas, sadly, doesn't mean a free-for-all on confectionery for everyone. It's polite to check with parents before unloading sweet treats on their children.
  6. Alcoholic Alternatives: You can't go wrong with a bottle of booze, but make sure to put some thought into the choice – with cocktails on the rise, spirits can make a fun alternative to wine or whiskey, but stick to port for those traditionalists.
  7. Bearing Gifts: Always come bearing gifts. A bottle of wine or a box of chocolates are customary but if it's a longer stay over Christmas think about something more substantial.
  8. All wrapped up: You should wrap food and wine to elevate it from a practical contribution to a thoughtful gift.
  9. Making a match: You can have a go at matching the wine to a meal if going over for dinner, but more importantly, just make sure you bring a bottle.
  10. Culinary contribution: Do offer to make a culinary contribution, but stick to mince pies or biscuits – bringing your own lasagne might cause your host to take offence at the insinuation that their own food isn't up to scratch.

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