"What’s the proper protocol regarding mistletoe at holiday parties? I don’t want to make a fool of myself. Are there any 'rules?'"
-JOSEPH W., CRANSTON, RI
Well, if it’s an office party, the first one would have to be: Unless you want to be doing the “This is your first warning…” tango with Tonya the HR fem-bot, it’s best to keep your lips zipped and your hands in your pockets, mistletoe or no.
“This isn’t the time to slide up on someone and sneak in a kiss,” says etiquette expert Elaine Swann. But, she says, it can still be a chance to get closer to your office crush. “A holiday office party gives you the opportunity to open up the floor for conversation—maybe even offer a tiny gift—but it’s not the time to make an over-the-top move.”
But if it’s a non-office holiday party, we say: Go for it! Though some decorum’s always in order, so we got these helpful tips from Men’s Fitness female staffers:
— Bring your own mistletoe and hold it over your head and girls will swipe you left on sight.
— Imagine the area under the mistletoe as having a shot clock: If you don’t score fast, you get out of the zone.
— Open-mouth kissing is by invitation only. Wait for the invitation.
— Best come-on for an under-the-mistletoe kiss: a flirty smile. Worst: a $5 bill.