Easter Entertaining Etiquette

03/29/2017 09:33 am ET

Whether you are planning a traditional Easter celebration or hopping over to a family member’s home for lunch, feeling adequately prepared allows you to relax and enjoy the event. Here are some etiquette tips that will help you spring into the season with your manners intact.

Rules for the Host:

Simplify the Menu

If you are in charge of cooking the Easter meal, you don’t have to get stuck in the kitchen the entire morning. Prepare foods that won’t demand your constant attention. Choose dishes that can be put together ahead of time to allow you time to socialize with your guests. Serve a variety of items, including a vegetarian dish or something gluten free to accommodate those with dietary restrictions. A good host always has something everyone can enjoy!

Expect the Unexpected

You spent a great deal of attention setting the table with your best china and chose the perfect table linen for the affair. The saying “Don’t cry over spilled milk,” can easily apply when an unexpected accident occurs. A host knows that a fate worse than a broken piece of stemware is making a guest feel uncomfortable. A savvy host will clean up the mess and pay little attention to the faux pas while redirecting the conversation.

Kids Welcome

Easter is the perfect time to spend with family, which most always includes children. When planning your get together, give careful consideration to the little ones on your guest list. Load up on kid friendly, healthy snacks and food. The kids table doesn’t have to have the same food items as the adults are enjoying. Add a few buckets of colored chalk, jump ropes and large buckets of bubbles to the mix, and you have a child oriented Easter egg hunt and afternoon of outdoor play.

If you want an “adult only” event, schedule a cocktail hour or dinner party rather than hosting a brunch. Parents will likely need a break and the evening is an easier time to secure childcare, rather than the middle of Easter day.

Rules for the Guest:

Don’t Hold Up the Host

If you plan on going to multiple parties, let your host know so they aren’t waiting on you to serve the meal. Being a few minutes tardy is acceptable, but arriving 45 minutes late is simply rude. If you know you’re going to be significantly late, consider sitting this one out. You don’t want to interrupt the natural flow of the party and your host will appreciate your honesty. Some people won’t mind if you pop in for desert, while others would prefer a rain check on your RSVP.

Don’t Leave Your Easter Dress in the Closet

Whether you are coming from a church service or you spent a cozy morning at home, you’ll want to look your best for the festivities. Even if the get together is casual, dress nicer than you would on a normal day. If your host has made a special attire request, respectfully abide by their wishes. Always dress up, rather than down, because you never know when your Easter photo will make an appearance on social media.

Bring the Host a Gift

It’s always polite to show your appreciation with a small gift. It should be something your host doesn’t have to fuss over. An un-chilled bottle of wine is acceptable as it sends the message you don’t expect them to uncork it during the party. Another option is a box of specialty chocolates or a bottle of organic olive oil to enjoy at a later date.

Put Your Thanks in Writing

Your host will be thrilled to hear how much you enjoyed the Easter soiree. Seeing your gratitude in writing, on a pretty piece of stationery, makes it even better. It’s always more special to receive a note in the mail as opposed to a text or an email.

You may also like Easter Table Dining Etiquette. For more of Diane’s etiquette tips, visit her blog, connect with her here on The Huffington Post, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

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