The Holidays are filled with family dinners, company parties & meeting future in-laws. Do you find yourself still asking” which is my bread plate”?
The Mother’s Day celebration was started nearly 150 years ago by an Appalachian homemaker named Anna Jarvis. She organized a day to bring awareness of the poor health conditions in her community and called it “Mothers Work Day.” It has now become a hugely commercialized, money making event.
According to a survey on Statistic Brain:
- The total amount spent on Mother’s Day cards is $671 million.
- Average amount of money the average person will spend on their mother is $126.90.
Retail establishments are not the only ones cashing in. According to the National Restaurant Associate, more than one-quarter of Americans will dine out and another 10% will get take out or delivery.
Mother’s Day is meant to be a day to thank the person who gave us life — or if you were anything like me growing up, it’s a day to celebrate the person who reminded me on a daily basis that she could also take that gift of life away! However, Mother’s Day can also lead to some interesting etiquette questions, such as:
- Do I have to buy my step-mom a gift?
- Do I have to celebrate Mother’s Day with my mother-in-law?
- Do I celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom or my children?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind;
- Although Mother’s Day is to recognize our mothers, it is also a time to remember and thank the other women in your life who you have a special bond with, an aunt, a neighbor, even a friend’s mom.
- If you have not done so already, make a reservation if you are planning on taking your mom out for brunch, lunch or dinner.
- If you are taking your mom out to brunch, a popular choice, remember to leave a tip for the wait staff. Even though you stand in line and get your own food, you need to remember the people who bring you your drinks, take away your used plates and pick up after you. They deserve a tip.
- Stepmothers count. Some stepchildren have a great relationship with their stepmother while others do not. Either way, you should still acknowledge her. You could send her a card, or maybe take her to lunch. It does not even have to be on Mother’s Day, especially if you are spending the day with your mom. Also, you are being an excellent role model for your children by putting any ill feelings aside.
- If you want to spend Mother’s Day with your mom and your husband wants the two of you to celebrate with his, then you should try to compromise. You can either spend half the day with your mom and the second half with his, or you can divide and conquer.
- Give mom a gift that she wants. Whatever you decide to buy her, make sure it is within your budget. If your family buys a family gift make sure that it is something that everyone can afford.
- Carnations are generally given on Mother’s Day because white carnations were Anna Jarvis‘ favorite flower.
- Lastly, don’t wait until Mother’s Day to tell your mom that you love her. It always means more to call your mother and tell her you love her on a normal day than it does on a birthday or Mother’s Day when it is expected.
When it comes to holiday cards, a personal touch is always appreciated. You want to thank your colleagues and clients for their patronage during the year. The best way to do this is to put forth the personal effort to show them that you do appreciate them.
As such, take the time to hand write everything. Hand write a personal note on the card. Hand write the envelope. Even if you hire someone to do this for you, handwriting shows an effort that far surpasses sticking a label on an envelope or having a card pre-printed to save you time. These little things matter and people notice them and will appreciate your extra effort.
You also should try to avoid email holiday greetings. Technology has come a long way and some of these holiday emails are quite entertaining, however, after they are watched, they are deleted. A holiday card has more staying power and can be a constant reminder of the work you do.
Finally, you want to send out your cards as early as possible. The end of the year is usually most people’s busiest time and people leave for vacation towards the end of the year. The sooner you can get your card out the better chance you can have a lasting impression on your audience.
1. Receiving gifts you don’t like – Have a conversation with your children about “good manners” before the holiday season. You might even practice with them or example, “your aunt Beth gives you a new jacket, but you were hoping for the newest x-box game” remember to say a sincere “thank you” followed by a hug and kiss
2. Writing good thank you notes (how fast should you send them, what should be included, is email OK or no) – This is a perfect time to teach your children to write thank you notes… even if they do not yet know how to write.
If children do not write; then they can draw a picture of the item or the child using the item and the parent can assist them with writing the to and from
For youth and teens: the note should include, what they were given and how they plan on using it
3. Table manners at parties (handling food you don’t like, not chewing with your mouth open, etc.)
Hopefully your children have the basic table manners.. come to the table with clean hands, using utensils not their hands to eat, saying please and thank you etc., but along with the basic skills children and teens should also be taught:
- Wait until everyone is served before eating
- If there is something on the plate or if they tasted something they do not like.. DO NOT make a face or begin to complain simply don’t eat it.
- No toys, books or cell phones at the table
- Laying their napkin on their lap
- Chew with your mouth closed
And parents the no cell phone at the dinner table… applies to you as well.
4. Talking to relatives and family friends politely (not interrupting, good questions to ask)
Remember to make eye contact when speaking to relatives. Also, keep the technology in your pocket, purse, backpack or at home. If you are having a conversation with your aunt then she should get your full attention
5. Dealing with multiple hugs and kisses – When talking to your kids about “good manners” and what is expected of them when they receive a gift they do not like, this is also a perfect time to explain to them their relatives will be happy to see them and we should acknowledge them with a hug and or a kiss. Remind kids not to make faces or roll their eyes whenever an adult extends their arms for a hug or grandma approaches you with a kiss to the check
Remember to remind your kids what the Holidays are about and it is not just about gifts. And remember as the parent/adult to be a good role model. Yes, if you expect your children to display good manners then it first must come from you.
Here is an article I was quoted in on Minding your Halloween Manners. Enjoy.…
Yes, Halloween is all about putting on the coolest possible costume and scoring the greatest amount of candy. But kids shouldn’t throw out all their manners during the mad dash.
“Parents need to remind their trick-or-treaters that regular rules of etiquette still apply on Halloween,” says Jules Hirst, an etiquette expert in California. “Their children should always say, ‘Trick or treat,’ when the door opens and ‘thank you’ after receiving their treat.”
Kids shouldn’t be entirely in “gimme candy” mode, agrees Peggy Post, co-director of the Emily Post Institute in Vermont. “Look at people when they answer the door and say, ‘hello,’” Post advises. “Try to engage them a little bit in conversation, and always say, ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’”
A few more tips from Hirst and Post:
– Tell kids not to grab for candy but to wait for the bowl to be offered. If they’re with a group, they need to be patient and wait for the bowl to be passed around.
– Kids shouldn’t take more than one or two pieces of candy unless the adult encourages them to take more. If a piece of candy is small, a child can ask, “May I please have more than one?”
– Remind older kids not to push smaller children aside in their quest to get candy. They also shouldn’t be trying to scare young kids.
– It’s polite for kids to take what is offered even if they don’t want it. Remind them that they could always give it away, trade it or even toss it into the trash later.
– Halloween will always be a bit crazy and noisy, but kids shouldn’t feel they have free rein to yell, loiter on other people’s property or make a mess (no throwing used candy wrappers in the streets, for example).
– Adults who don’t want trick-or-treaters coming to their door should keep their porch lights off, as well as other lights in front of their house. “Participation in Halloween is voluntary,” Hirst says. “You don’t have to do it. That’s fine, but let people know by turning your lights off. To a kid, a dark house has no candy.”
– Adults also shouldn’t hand out homemade treats or fruit, because most parents won’t let a child eat unwrapped items for safety reasons. If you don’t believe in giving out candy, you can get fun items such as super balls, glo-sticks and stickers from a dollar store.written by: Alison Johnson source: my tidewaters mom.com
Growing up, Halloween is one of the greatest days of the year. You get to dress up and pretend to be someone else and people give you candy for it. Following simple etiquette tips can help make this a great day for everyone.
In terms of Halloween etiquette, your porch light and the lights in the front of your house say a lot about you. Lights signify that someone is home and on Halloween that signifies that this house is passing out treats. Participation in Halloween is voluntary. You don’t have to do it. If you were raised in an isolated community and never experienced the joy of Halloween, you may not understand or want kids coming to your door. That’s fine, but let people know by turning your lights off. To a kid, a dark house has no candy. However, a lit house where no one answers the door is susceptible to the trick part of Trick or Treat.
Halloween etiquette also says that you should not pass out homemade treats or fruit. You could be the world’s greatest baker, but no parent is going to spend the time trying to figure out your intentions. A good parent will go through their child’s candy bag and throw away all the unwrapped items. Why go to all the work of baking to have your creations thrown out. If you do not believe in passing out candy, a trip to your local dollar store will provide a wide variety of fun, non-edible treats to pass out, such as super balls, pencils, and glo-sticks.
Parents need to remind their trick-or-treaters that regular rules of etiquette still apply on Halloween. Their children should always say, Trick or treat when the door opens and thank you after receiving their treat. Children should only take one to two pieces of candy from the candy dish, unless they are encouraged to take more by the homeowner. Parents should also stress to their children that it is polite to take what is offered even if they do not want it. Remind them that they can always throw it away later.
Etiquette should also be considered when selecting a costume. Everyone wants to have a fun costume but consideration should be given to the location where the costume will be shown off. If you are attending a Halloween party, your costume may be more appropriate than if you are wearing it to school. People may be offended by your costume, and this could lead to a visit to the principal’s office. Of course, getting sent home early from school does allow more time for trick-or-treating!
Memorial Day is upon us and as you spend the long weekend enjoying the warm weather and spending time with family and friends, let us not forget the true meaning behind the holiday.
The holiday dates back to the 1860s and began as a time to decorate the graves of soldiers who had given their lives in battle. It was officially called Decoration Day in 1868 by General John Logan. Over the years, the holiday has undergone a few changes. It became known as Memorial Day in the 1880s but the name wasn’t officially recognized until 1967 by federal law. It was changed again the next year when the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress. This changed Memorial Day to the last Monday in May and made it a three day weekend.
Traditional celebrations include decorating the graves at our national cemeteries with American flags. Most people are unaware that there is a moment of remembrance at 3pm local time. Another Memorial Day tradition is to fly the American flag at half-staff until noon and then at full-staff until sunset.
While enjoying your time away from work, let’s take a moment to remember that this holiday is a remembrance of those who have given their life in battle to protect our freedoms that we enjoy this very day.
On behalf of Etiquette Consulting Inc, we would like to thank those who have faught and died for our freedom.