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Birthday Party Etiquette: How To Be A Great Guest Or Host

Updated on August 24, 2013
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.

Birthday Party Fun
Birthday Party Fun | Source

How many of us practice party etiquette or even think about it? I would say, not many of us. It doesn't matter if you're the host or the guest, party etiquette should be the rule of the day. Why should party etiquette be the rule of the day, because good party etiquette will cause you and your child to get invited to parties again and again. Good party etiquette will also cause people to want to attend parties you host. Let's take a look at some Do's and Don'ts for being a great party host and a great party guest.

Birthday Party
Birthday Party | Source

Eye Catching Gift Wrap

Birthday Gift
Birthday Gift | Source
  • Don't forget to RSVP - do we even know what that means? It's French for "Repondez S'il Vous Plait," translated into "Please Respond." Make sure you respond in a timely manner to the invite. Why is responding important? Some friends of mine gave a birthday party and they needed to know the head count so they could plan for how much food to have catered in. They were also creating gift bags for the guests. Having enough gift bags for children is especially important - no host wants to be short on gift bags for children. If the host is planning for 15 children and 22 show up - Oops! Not only might the host be short on gift bags, but food as well. Not cool. If your invite is through e-mail print it out and put it on the refrigerator so you'll see it. Most invites include a phone number as well. Please be kind and RSVP so the host will not have to call to see if you and your child are coming to the party.
  • Show up - if you say you and your child will be at the party you need to be there. Now I know that crazy things can happen at the last minute, but please make every effort to go to the party. The host of the party may have it at a venue which requires pay per guest, and if you don't show up as planned the host will have to pay for the no-shows.
  • Thank You - as the host, say thank you for coming to your child's birthday party by sending thank you notes to the guests. Included should be a thank you note to the gift-giver. For a more personal touch make sure the thank you notes are hand-written. A really great practice of a friend of mine is to have the birthday child take a picture holding the guest's gift and sending the picture with the thank you note.
  • Bring a gift - not a gift card. The birthday child is expecting a gift, not only that, your child will feel good about presenting a gift to the birthday child. This is a great opportunity to teach your child, for certain occasions, that it's not a good thing to go to someone's home empty-handed. Also, wrapping is everything - make sure the gift wrap stands out.
  • Party Manners for All - twenty to thirty children in a room is a test of manners. Listen closely for "please" and "thank you." See if your child has the "sharing" bug and shares with the other party guests. If your child is a guest make sure he or she says happy birthday to the birthday child and says thank you for inviting them. If your child is the birthday girl or boy make sure they thank their guests for coming to the party and for the gifts.
  • Getting to Know You - children who know one another tend to hang out together. Try to avoid cliques at the party. If you are the host of the birthday party make sure the children are introduced to one another. One thing to do is have the children stand in a circle and tell all their names and how they know the birthday child, i.e., do they go to school or to church with the birthday child?


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