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Party Etiquette

Some basic etiquette questions that come up with birthday parties are who to invite, what to do when guests don't RSVP in time, accepting gifts, and thanking your guests.
The Invitation Equation: The Child's age + 1 = happy kids. For children under 8 years old, invite as many children as the child's age plus one. Some parents choose to add 1 or 2 to this equation.This basic guideline has been handed down from generations for a reason...It works! Yet many parties have the child's entire class, relatives, and neighbors. When not inviting your child's entire class it is a good practice to be discreet by mailing invitations, hand delivering to parents, or possibly asking the teacher to hand invitation to parents. A nice thing to do is have a simple class party with goody bag and treat for everyone.
The term R.S.V.P. comes from the French expression "répondez s'il vous plaît", meaning "please respond". This let's the person know that you expect to know whether they are coming or not coming by a specific date. I think it is okay to contact someone who has not RSVP'd. You need to know for planning food quantities, issues relating to minimum guarantees with catering halls, uncertainty over the number of party favors and difficulties in planning appropriate seating, among other things.
Make sure your child is gracious when receiving gift even if they are unhappy with a gift (clothes for instance) It is never to early to instill a sense of gratitude in your child (Someone made an effort to come to share the day and bring a gift to celebrate your birthday they deserve a warm smile and a sincere thank you). If the party is not at your home it is best to save opening gifts until you are back home.
Encourage your child to greet each guest as he or she arrives.
It's also important that the host thanks each guest for coming at the end of the party.
Have your child handout gift bags at the end of the party. This provides them with another opportunity to say Thank You and give as well as receive.Have your child help with the Thank You notes. They can help you prepare them by recounting who came, and what gift they gave. If they can print their name have them sign it for a personal touch. A sample thank you might look something like this:
Dear Aunt Sally,Thank you for coming to my party and the pretty dress - I wore it the other day and am enclosing a picture of me in it
Love Suzie

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