’Tis the season to be jolly and the time to make merry once more. Hosts everywhere are making that list, checking it twice, and it’ll soon be clear who’s naughty and nice. Nothing brings out the best and worst in people like a house party.

Hosts, there’s nothing worse than a holiday humbug. They make movies about this, most notably starring Ebenezer Scrooge and The Grinch. Please don’t ask your guests for money or proof of flu shots and know that you are pushing it with BYOB. Either be generous or don’t, have a party or not. Quit kidnapping Christmas with the pretext of hospitality and then presenting demands worthy of a blackmailer.

Once you issue an invitation, the deed’s done. The process is irreversible. You can disinter the deceased, but there is no way to recall a guest. None. You cannot un-friend people like Facebook — that’s not how the real world works — nor can you put the horse back in the barn. Elvis has left the building, and now you must grin and bear it.

As for guests gallivanting this yuletide season: Once you accept, not only must you follow through, you may not bring Tiny Tim or disrespect the dinner. Alternative eaters must either dine before, simply drink, wait for dessert or beg to bring a dish for the buffet. This is not a cruise ship and your restricted diet is not a priority. The hostess has enough on her plate without worrying about mung beans, and the same goes for children. If you can’t bear to leave them behind, then don’t leave.

Because the elves stay home when Santa goes out and Rudolf doesn’t get gluten-free.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at pgannon@cmaildrop.com or at pgannon@theadvocate.com.

For she’s a jolly good fellow

Debbie Mills welcomed Father Time with a birthday bash and all you could ask for at The Petroleum Club. Well-wishers packed the ballroom to a live band while Mills received them all aglitter in elegant gold, but nothing was “golden years” about this party. A female flash mob made it memorable, courtesy of Tina Derouen, as did Sen. Fred Mills, Julie and Robbie Bush, Sen. Page Cortez, Donna Olivier, Catherine Trahan, Natalie Lopez Robin and Guy and Darlene Cormier. By the way, we’d like it too if former football quarterback Jake Delhomme came to our birthday party. “He used to be my student,” said Mills, who taught at Teurlings years ago. “You know, I think Fred is friends with The Shaq,” said Robbie Bush. We could make do with Shaquille O’Neal also.

Old school elegance

The Krewe of Zeus was festive and formal at the Petroleum Club recently, and this group never disappoints. Less of a Mardi Gras krewe and more of a dance club, we are always impressed by their old school elegance, especially Dan and Christine Devenport, Greg and Marguerite Bordelon, Morgan and Helen Goudeau, Doris Theall, Byron and Meg Hebert from Abbeville. What we loved: Sitting down at the Devenport table, The Godfather Waltz and Dolly Chachere’s dress.

Xanadu fetes Princesses

We’re not sure what the collective noun is for a group of princesses, but the Xanadu ladies paid court to theirs with a meet ’n’ greet at Jefferson Street Pub downtown. Each princess decorated her own table in accordance with the character she will portray at the upcoming ball, and guests enjoyed the Pub ambiance complete with DJ. It’s our understanding that it was charming, and no one turned back into a pumpkin at midnight.