How to Kiss Anyone Properly

With everyone traveling, meeting, and greeting this week – I thought it would be fun to talk for a minute about kissing. Although not a DIY party project per say, making merry often involves quite a bit of kissing. And this time of year it can be especially pronounced as many relatives and friends are spending time together feasting, drinking, and generally reveling with one another.

So I dug up some research and decided to offer up a bit of my own advice as well (I am Italian, my family is loud and touchy – we kiss a lot!). Here are my tips for kissing properly, while not halting the celebration, with anyone who might lean in this holiday season.

1. Sweetheart – Like you are in a black and white film. Leaned in, foot popped, and blurry eyed to anyone else.

2. Child – By sweetly holding both their hands to prevent any sort of hair pulling, earring fondling, or grub rubbing that often ensues with a kiss from a 3 year old. Plus, it makes you feel like an instant friend.

3. Grandparent – Grandparents, more than anyone else, are likely to lend the lip when you meant the cheek. The plus side is that they are often sitting down when you walk into a room. Go directly to them first (as you should always greet the oldest in the room first) and kiss them while standing up, from the top. This will guarantee a kind and endearing forehead smooch without much concern.

4. Fido – Don’t! This is gross and freaks everyone else out. You might think their tongue is just fine to splash all around your face, but most everyone else will be quite uncomfortable.

5. Friend – Good friends should greet each other like the French do – with a kiss on both the cheeks. However, if you are not comfortable kissing a friend, or the situation doesn’t call for it, a gentle grasp of their shoulders and an air kiss past their cheek will say the same (we are tight) without the contact.

6. Drunk Uncle – A great tip when your drunk uncle leans in for a hello kiss (or anyone else you’d like to steer clear of) is to grab a piece of your hair quickly while looking down at your left shoe. This will leave him your forehead, really the only appropriate place for an uncle to kiss anyway. The move will make it look as if you were slightly blushing to not harm his feelings. Then quickly bring him a roll and a cup of coffee and listen to his traveling stories as he sobers up.

7. Santa – Whoever it is in that Santa suit, it seems to make everyone – from a boss to a perfectly good stranger – think they can smooch on up. You don’t have to be merry to their advances, or rude when they start showing their white bearded face next week. Simply raise your hand to lip level and offer it out quickly as a concession, they will get the hint.

8. Parent – When greeting a mom or dad who is known to kiss, short and sweet is the best route. Show mom and dad you love them by following their lead, but you definitely don’t want any lingering here. A short peck with a long, strong hug communicates that you do indeed think the world of them.

9. True Love – True loves first kiss, or fifty thousandth kiss, is just as sweet. When Matt and I first got married a friend told us that kissing (and everything else) only gets better over time. Your true love is the one kiss you should be looking forward to this season – and make sure they know it from your glance from across the crowded (with family and friends) party room.

Image Credits
1. “Sweetheart” (image by Alfred Eisenstaedt) | 2. “Child” (image by studio moment) | 3. “Grandparent” (image by Leonard Mccombe) | 4. “Fido” (image by Studio Gus) | 5. “Friend” (image by Josh Martin) | | 6. “Drunk Uncle” (image by unknown) | 7. “Santa” (image by Warner Bros) | 8. “Parent” (image by Tiffany & Co.) | 9. “True Love” (image by Erich Mcvey)

Graphic created by Alli of Hooray, for A Subtle Revelry.