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8 Ways to Leave a Party Early and Don’t Be Rude

people sitting on chairs near pool

It’s the season to make merry and gather together. This may not be the holiday season’s official motto, but it is our favorite. We love to mix, toast, and be festive, up to a point. That point usually occurs well before the party ends. Here are some ways to gracefully leave holiday parties without being forced to.

  • Gifts for hostesses

Recall the most fundamental rule of party-attending etiquette: Don’t arrive empty-handed. This applies to all parties, not just holiday parties or ones that require you to leave early. To make up for the short attendance, you can give a small token such as a wine bottle, a box full of chocolate truffles or a cute set of Santa butter knives and holiday-themed wine glasses charms.

  • Inform the host in advance

It’s a great way to make a quick, guilt-free exit. Better yet, you can send them a message the day before about your time constraints. This will make them less surprised when you visit mid-shindig. They may even be able to take offense.

  • When the party begins, get there

We don’t condone you arriving early to a party (unless you are a BFF), but if you only have a few minutes, we recommend that you arrive at the event as soon as it begins. This will allow you to have uninterrupted quality time with your host before other guests arrive. You can also help the host set up, which will earn you brownie points for being a stellar invitee.

  • Use a good excuse

Sometimes people are able to say they need to move without ever feeling the need to explain why. Some people are more ‘human’ than others. If you’re one of those people who like to fill everything with a reason for being comfortable, ensure it’s a good reason. Good does not necessarily mean dramatic or extreme. The more common the situation, the better. Although a family emergency may seem unassailable at times, it will likely prompt follow-up questions you might not be able answer later. You can use simple excuses such as “I’ve been suffering from a headache all day,” or “I need to go to work tomorrow”; or “Our sitter cannot stay past 10 o’clock.”

  • Enjoy yourself while you’re there

You don’t want your face to be bored all the time. These behaviors can signal to an attentive host that you might not want to be there. Be friendly, make an effort to spread holiday cheer, and be social before you leave.

  • Complement the host

It’s hard to resist praising others. It’s not like she spent a lot of time creating a Pinterest-worthy list of yuletide appetizers. You can compliment the decor with something, whether you’re asking for the eggnog recipe or admiring the Swedish meatballs with Cranberry Glaze.

Pro tip: Make sure you do this within earshot of your guests so they can confirm and verify that it is indeed the best baked Brie they have ever had.

  • Discreetly say your goodbyes

You don’t want to leave the host if you have to go fast. Instead of approaching your host in the middle or in a group conversation with them, you should find them when they are more isolated. This will allow you to say goodbye and take something out of the oven. You can avoid dampening the mood or causing a chain reaction of premature departures.

  • Make an Irish farewell

You might find that ghosting a host is a nice gesture. Although it might seem rude to not bid your host goodbye, sometimes it is better to just leave. Joanna Goddard, a lifestyle blogger, explains why in the Cup of Jo post. Joanna Goddard describes a party that she hosted where the second half was filled with well-wishes goodbye conversations. Although there were many guests still present at the party, it felt like a mass exodus as everyone was consumed by saying goodbye to everyone who was going home.

You can slip out of the room undetected if you have already informed the host that you are leaving early. This may be acceptable by some hosts. Some hosts will approve of this, while others won’t. You can trust your judgement and send them a text or call to thank them.

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