How To Cancel Holiday Plans According To An Etiquette Expert

Young women holding up Thank You sign in window looking out

So you've been invited to a big holiday party but you don't feel comfortable going. That's ok! Your health, or the health of your compromised family member or friend, is a little more important than going to one party. So how do you say no without being rude?

National Etiquette Expert Diane Gottsman, of the Protocol School of Texas, recommends starting the conversation now.

If you decline an invitation, make sure you let the host know you were thankful for the invite.

If you do decide to attend a holiday celebration, she suggests letting the host know you’ll be bringing your own food and utensils. Or the host can provide disposable items.

She also believes everyone should know what to expect ahead of an event. In some cases, hosts may require temperature checks at the door and other precautions.

“The bottom line here is that we should not feel offended for honesty and for honest answers,” she says.