Monday, November 22, 2010

Etiquette for the Holidays

Today I'm traveling home to Georgia to be with my mama for Thanksgiving! I'll be stopping in Savannah to visit with a good friend...I'm soooo excited y'all! Tonight I'm having dinner at Uncle Bubba's Oyster House {Bubba is Paula Deen's brother!} Tomorrow, I'm having lunch at Paula Deen's restaurant, The Lady and Sons!!! Lord have mercy, I can hardly stand it:)

So, while I'm away, here's a re-post... "Etiquette for the Holidays."

You've all seen movies about surviving the holidays with family. The old saying "You can choose your friends, but not your family," is very true. Nowadays, all families have drama and some family members just don't get along; hence, tensions can run very high when everyone is crowded into one home for the holidays. I've put together some tips that will hopefully help you to survive those gatherings, whether you will be visiting family or friends.

Houseguest etiquette--
If you are going to be a houseguest during the holiday season, remember to practice good etiquette and hopefully, you will be invited back again.
~Never show up at someone's home with your pets or when you are ill.
~Don't overstay your welcome.
~Offer to help out around the house.
~Don't abuse the hospitality of the host. Never place a long-distance call from the host's phone without permission. Don't expect your host to be your event planner for the stay. Entertain yourself and better still, offer to take your host out for dinner. Please clean up behind yourself--or go to a hotel!
~You should always arrive with a gift, say thank you during your visit, and send a thank-you note after the visit.

Party host and guest duties--
Host duties:
~Plan ahead and make sure that you have plenty of time to greet your guests at the door. (Refer to Miss Janice's tips "Kick Off the Holiday Season," parts 1-4, posted earlier this month). Take their coats/handbags and make introductions to other guests, if necessary.
~Offer your guests a beverage.
~Mingle with all your guests, not just one person.
~When your event is over, walk your guests to the door and thank them for coming.
Guest duties:
~If you are an invited guest this Thanksgiving or Christmas, offer to bring a dish and find out which dish your host would prefer that you bring.
~Be sure to bring a small gift for the host.
~Dress in casual holiday style.
~Arrive on time and introduce yourself to everyone present.
~Offer to help in the preparations but don't monopolize the host's time; remember that the host is a very busy person on Thankgsgiving or Christmas Day!
~After the meal is finished, offer to help the host with any cleaning in the kitchen.
~Mingle with family and friends, thank your host, and leave.
~Don't forget to send a thank-you note to the host the next day.

Dining etiquette--
The holidays are a perfect time to instill social and dining etiquette skills to children and also to practice proper table manners yourself.
~Recruit the children to help in setting the table for the meal. Teach them the proper table setting for the style of dining and meal that you are planning to serve.
~Upon arrival at the table, stand behind your chair and wait until the host/hostess has been seated.
~Don't touch your napkin or anything else until Grace has been said.
~If you don't know what to do, watch the host/hostess.
~Sit up straight, don't talk with food in your mouth, and keep your elbows off the table, please.
~Don't lick your fingers--wipe them on your napkin, under the table. Gently dab the corners of your mouth with your napkin--don't wipe your mouth. And please keep your napkin on your lap until the meal is complete, then place it--loosely folded--to the left of your plate.
~Don't leave your flatware in the rowboat position--angled half on the table and half on the plate. Once you pick up a piece of flatware to use, it is never returned to the table.
~Participate in the conversation at the table; remember, don't discuss politics, religion, health issues, or controversial subjects at the dining table. Talk to everyone at the table, not just the persons next to you.
~Leave a bite of food on your plate; this shows that you did not come for the food alone, but for the fellowship, as well.
~Don't push your plate away when you have finished eating, that's just tacky.

Now you have learned how to plan your event, a little houseguest etiquette, proper host/guest etiquette, and a few dining etiquette tips. As we move forward to the holidays, I will feature posts on party themes and tablescapes, party favors, hostess gifts, and Christmas party etiquette. I thank you so much for dropping by today!


Gone said...

Great reminders!!

I have NEVER been a HOUSE GUEST or OVERNIGHT GUEST at someone's home. And I am seldom (can not remember the last time) invited for dinner or any kind of meal at someone's house.

However...since Tom and I married, we've had ALOT of house guests that have stayed up to a week at a time. We also host dinners and teas in our home.

While I love having guests, and I love doing the cooking and baking, it would be nice if someone lifted a finger to help...or offered to take Tom and I out to dinner when they've been here a couple of times.

I don't invite people expecting anything in return...however, something as small as a plant for our garden...some fresh herbs...a hand-made gift would truly go a long way with this hostess.

Now that we've turned our Guest Room into a Den for TV viewing, we will no longer be having overnight guests...unless they want to sleep on our blow-up mattress in between the sofa and entertainment center in the den. far, no takers.

Lady Katherine said...

Thank you for sharing etiqutte for the Holidays. I think we all would love to pass this out to our family, for there is usually one--
but that would not be very nice or proper etiquette, Thank you for all the wonderful tips.

Tardevil said...

I could not agree with your 2nd &
3rd rules more. Some people just don't get that! :O) Have a great weekend.

Melissa Miller said...

Oh Miss Janice, I want to hug you right now! Thank you for sharing the etiquette on house guests. It has caused a bit of tension on numerous occasions around my home.
This makes me breathe easier. I was reading the dining table rules and thinking of which ones I've done. I have put my flatware on the plate. Uh-oh. I'll remember this from now on. Thanks for visiting today. ~Melissa :)

Anonymous said...

This is a great post, Miss Janice! We have quite a lot of houseguests and I wish they would read your post! Usually they come, unpack, mess up the upstairs bedroom and bathroom,never lift a finger to help and then I don't have the warm Hostessy feeling I should like to have!
I need to remember much of what I read from your table etiquette!
Have a beautiful weekend.
Be a sweetie,

Rue said...

Hi Miss Janice :)

I did a post similar to this when I first started blogging! It's under etiquette on my sidebar.

Thank you so much for sweetly reminding people how to behave. If only the whole world would listen!


Teresa Jane said...

Next time I come to your house I plan to overstay and make you wait on me hand and foot.

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Hi, thanks for your sweet comment on my Somewhere in Time post. I wanted to tell you that we did check into having tea at the Grand Hotel. However it is only at 3:30 and the last boat when we were there sailed at 5:00, so we didn't have time. It looks like it would have been fabulous though!

playsdolls said...

Thank you for your Etiquette for the Holidays post,it has alot of things that are very true in it,I know a few people who really need to read it.

Amongst The Oaks said...

I love your suggestions, now help me with this dilema: What do you do when Grandma takes her teeth out after dinner and cleans them? And what about a certain guest who ALWAYS breaks the stemware? And guests who talk non-stop? Is it possible to gently correct them? Can I link to you?

Lexilooo said...

A friend's sister got engaged at The Lady and Sons! Last fall Paula Deen was here in DC, so the friend and I went and had her sign a copy of the photo of her sister and fiance, just after he proposed!

Lori said...

Have a safe trip and a wonderful holiday with your loved ones.

(Lmsbartow) said...

HEY! Im your newest follower! Thank GOODNESS! I never realized how "Un-Etiquette-ed I am! LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE reading your blog! found you over at Kristens...I have an interior design business and blog and im doing 14 days of xmas trees...Would BEYOND ADORE you to visit!! I have a GIVEAWAY TO!



Newlywed Hostess said...

Those turkey plates at the beginning of the post are quite remarkable. They really caught my eye.

I have never shown up to stay at ANYONE's house without a hostess gift. In fact, I stayed with my roomie in college's parents for a night and I even brought a gift.