Broke-Ass Etiquette: Holiday Parties

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Q: Dear Half-Price Headliner,
Is it rude to show up at a holiday party empty handed?  If so, how can I bring something and not go broke doing so?

A: It depends on the party.  If the gathering is casual and impromptu, then BYOB is the general rule, and you can bring/drink whatever you like.  If it is a 'œformal' holiday party or dinner party, then the polite, civilized thing to do is to either contribute to the bounty, or present some sort of 'œhost gift' like wine, chocolate, etc.

If you’re unsure, or worried about what to bring, ask the host what they could use.  If all else fails, try these suggestions for thoughtful, festive ways to show your thanks for the invite:

1. Offer to come over early to set up, or to stay late to clean up.  If you’re part of the party crew, you are off the hook for the usual gift giving, and your host could most likely use the extra hands.

2. If they are covered in the labor department, or you don’t know them well enough to ask, booze is usually your best bet.  You don’t want to come off as a frat boy, so Franzia or Two Buck Chuck are out of the question.

At the same time, you don’t have to show up with a 1965 bottle of Veuve du Bleu Blah Blah.  Keep an eye out earlier in the year for bulk wine deals and stash them somewhere your drunk self won’t remember.

Holiday Party Gifts are also more about quality than quantity, so it is absolutely ok to go in a nice bottle of wine or spirits with a friend or two!

3. DIY like a mutha.  Bake, sew, do whatever it is you’re good at, and put it in gift form.  Your host will be touched you took the time, and you’ll have money left over for a post-party burrito.  Everyone wins!

Got a question about how to be a polite Broke-Ass?  Email Half-Price Headliner with your queries and get schooled on how to be proper like.

Photos from: popcorn

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Alison Lambert - Half Price Headliner

Alison Lambert - Half Price Headliner

Ali was born and raised in the Wholesome/Creepy capital of the world, Salt Lake City, UT. Once she was old enough to blow that pop stand she escaped to the place that was the anti-SLC: The Peoples Gay-public of Drugifornia aka San Francisco (holla 30 Rock!). You can now find her throughout this glorious city slurping Pho and scheming with her best friend Pinky doing what they do every night; try and take over the world.