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In many areas, Covid-19 cases are declining and that means friends will be arranging more get-togethers. With Saint Patrick’s Day parties fast approaching, it’s time for us to remember how to be a good guest.

1. RSVP.
The number one gripe I hear from friends who host parties is that people don’t RSVP, or they do and then don’t show up, so it’s almost impossible to tell who is coming and how much food you need. If you get an invite to a party, and you think you’d like to go, click ‘yes’. Really, it’s not that hard.

2. Offer to bring something.
Chances are good that your host will say you don’t need to bring anything at all, just yourself, but offering anyway is standard party etiquette. It’s also a way to help your hostess defray the cost of the party, which sometimes can run pretty high. And if you are asked to bring something, for heaven sakes, don’t take it home with you at the end of the night (unless your host specifically asks you to).

3. Talk to people you don’t know.
Sure, all your friends are at the party. But these are people you’ll see again — how will you meet NEW people if you just stick with your group all the time? Go by yourself to get food or drink — this is a pretty natural time to chat up people you don’t know. Talking to new people is also a HUGE favor to your hostess, who will have to worry less about guests who don’t know a lot of people at the party.

4. Say thanks.
Throwing parties is lots of fun, but it’s also hard work. And when you work hard at something, it’s nice to have somebody else say: hey, thanks. Good job. Traditional etiquette dictates that you send a mailed thank-you note to your host. If that seems like too much effort, AT LEAST thank your hostess when you leave (and again in an email or text message the next day.)

Renee Garrison is the award-winning author of two Young Adult books, “The Anchor Clankers,” and “Anchored Together.” She is President of the Florida Authors and Publishers Association.