It’s the party season, which seems to come with a certain amount of responsibility and etiquette for guests. Follow some of these tips to guarantee you’ll be invited back next year.

  • Always give a clear answer whether you are attending or not. If you have to check with your significant other, be sure to tell that to your host and get back with them as soon as possible
  • It doesn’t have to be expensive but a gift, even a small bouquet of flowers sent before the function, is a thoughtful gesture. Other ideas include chocolates, wine or an assortment of cheeses
  • Do your best not to arrive early, as it can be an inconvenience on your host who’s trying to plan the perfect party. Also, try not to be more than 20 minutes late. Punctuality is the key
  • A gracious guest is a great guest. You don’t have to insist on helping. Taking care of yourself and having decisive answers to the questions about drink and food options helps the host keep things moving smoothly
  • Don’t be afraid to mingle. It can be a little intimidating for some people, but you will enjoy the evening more if you come out of your shell, even just a little bit

Muscle memory

Want to remember every detail of an important meeting or class lecture? Try lifting weights for 20 minutes after the event. A 2014 study by the Georgia Institute of Technology found that episodic memory (the long-term memory of an event) is enhanced by a short burst of resistance exercise. Study participants who did 50 repetitions on a knee-extension machine right after being shown a series of photos remembered 10 percent more than participants who didn’t stress their muscles.


Turkey trivia

Here are some quick facts about the season’s favorite fowl.

  • In 1953, an overabundance of frozen turkeys, about 26 tons, prompted a major food producer to slice up the meat and repackage it with trimmings, creating the standard for the traditional TV dinner
  • Benjamin Franklin considered eagles to have “bad moral character,” which is why he proposed the turkey to be our national bird
  • Only male turkeys make the traditional gobble call; females emit a cackle

Decorating dangers

The Energy Education Council has some safety tips to keep in mind when decorating for the holidays.

  • Don’t throw lights or decorations into trees near power lines
  • Use lights that have been safety tested and have the UL label
  • Only use lights specific for outdoor use. Indoor lights are not designed to withstand the elements
  • Avoid using staples or nails to affix light cords; when available, use light clips or paper clips