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How you CAN avoid that New Year’s Eve kiss, plus 9 other helpful etiquette tips

Posted at 1:41 PM, Dec 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-29 15:41:04-05

Etiquette expert Ellen Reddick shares 10 New Year's Eve Etiquette Tips to remember. You can get more information about Ellen here. 

1. Go with Someone - Etiquette Safety Tip
Whether your date or a good friend, have someone to help keep you accountable for the night, and do the same for them. Knowing someone is relying on you is a good way to frame your choices through the night. One of the biggest threats to a breach of etiquette is over-indulging in food or drink. Set boundaries with your friend or date to know how much is too much, and the steps you take to assure everyone stays in their right mind for the night.

2. Dinner Parties
No matter what event you`re a part of at midnight, there`s a good chance you`ll be a part of a dinner party to begin the evening. If you`re attending a home party, ask the host if you can bring a dish or special drink to dinner, along with the correct type of dress. Dinner parties can be fashionable affairs, so be prepared! Being a proactive, helpful guest allows the hosts to be more relaxed in their own preparations, resulting in a better experience for everyone!

3. Host Etiquette: Invitations & Declarations
If you`re hosting a New Year`s Eve party, make sure to include your neighbors on the guest list, regardless of whether your party is work, school, or church related. Any party lasting until midnight is bound to make more noise than the usual night at home, so getting your neighbors in on the fun is a great way to diffuse any frustration at midnight. If they decline, at least you`ve made them aware of your plans, which will also help with any noise-level disagreements after you count down the New Year.

4. Guest Etiquette: Come Prepared
If you`re a guest at a New Year`s Eve party, check in with the host before and see what food or drink you can bring, or if there`s any setup help needed before the main crowd arrives. The best thing you can do at any gathering is the little work no one seems to notice, but ultimately help make the party memorable. Even if the host declines each request, offering assistance is the proper thing to do as a guest.

5. Kid-Friendly Parties
If you`re hosting a kid-friendly party at your house (perhaps due to the lack of babysitters on such a night), realize the little ones may go to sleep before the clock strikes midnight on 2015. Ask friends with kids to bring sleeping bags and pillows, and set aside a room in the house for them to watch a movie later at night.

6. Mingling with the Crowd
Staying with familiar friends is the easiest thing to do at any gathering, but where`s the fun in that? Realize that people may be there for the first time, and possibly a little uncomfortable in a new setting. I`m sure we can all remember a similar time in our own lives, and how much we appreciated the person who came up and took an interest in us. Be that person! Be on the lookout for those on the fringes of the party, and strike up a conversation with them. You never know what kind of friendship you may be planting the seeds for in the future.

7. New Year`s Kiss
Similar to mistletoe etiquette from Christmas, a polite New Year`s kiss or hug is something entirely in your control. If you`ve brought a date or spouse to the party, a good kiss is the best way to ring in the New Year. If you`re out with friends, you should feel very comfortable with a big new year`s hug or light kiss on the cheek. If it looks like someone is coming straight for the lips, you can politely turn your ahead and accept the kiss on the cheek. Simply wish them a Happy New Year and head on to another friend.

8. Picture Presence
As we talked before about social gatherings and special media etiquette, be careful about the pictures you post on nights like New Year`s Eve. Just as we wouldn`t want an embarrassing picture of us posted, show the same discretion for friends who may not be having their finest moment. One way to prevent accidental picture posting on your phone is to turn the wireless data off for the night.

9. Plan Ahead for Transportation
Whether you`re hosting or attending a party, plan for safe transportation for you and your group. Besides a true designated driver, many taxi companies offer scheduled service on New Year`s Eve. In fact, reserving a taxi may be the only way to guarantee a safe ride home. Politely ask ahead of time for your group to pitch in for the ride, and assure safe passage for everyone going home. As a host, scheduling a 12:30 am pickup is also a great way to officially say 'party`s over!'

10. Follow-up
No matter if you were the host or a guest, or just went out on the town with friends, check in with everyone the next day, just to be sure they made it home safe and are feeling well. In fact, an emerging trend is to host a New Year`s Day brunch, allowing people to trickle in a get some good food in their bellies after a late night. If your friends are big football fans, turn on the game and have your home be a safe haven for cheering and rest to begin the New Year. Regardless, a brief handwritten thank you card is always appreciated by hosts and organizers, and is a wonderful way to express you gratitude for their hard work.