"Manners are a sensitive awareness to the feelings of others.
If you have that awareness, it doesn't matter what fork you use."


We are in full gift-giving holiday season swing this month, particularly as Hanukkah and Christmas overlap this year. With so many questions about gift exchanges and the all important thank-you note, we thought a focus on these two areas would be a nice primer for the season.

We are excited to continue our work with Bob Evans to host a Holiday Etiquette Helpline that will be open and available to all to help with your holiday entertaining etiquette questions. Below you can find dates and times the helpline is open, please don't hesitate to call we'd love to hear from you!

We are sad to announce that December will mark the last time that Emily Post Etiquette will appear in Good Housekeeping magazine. After a 46-year presence in the magazine we will miss our close connection with the wonderful Good Housekeeping audience. We hope those of you who have loved Elizabeth's, Peggy's, and Lizzie's advice in the column will continue to seek your etiquette solutions from the many wonderful places that Emily Post etiquette can still be found, including Women's Running Magazine, Houzz.com, and the Awesome Etiquette podcast, as well as at www.emilypost.com.

As always, we encourage you to write in with your thoughts and questions! You can submit your question or comment to newsletter@emilypost.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

From our house to yours, we wish you a very happy New Year!
Holiday Etiquette Helpline
(855) 4MY-TABLE 

The Emily Post Institute has partnered with Bob Evans to bring you Holiday Help From the Farm! This holiday season if you have a question about entertaining (how to set a holiday table, handling extra guests or food allergies, or managing difficult table conversations, or what to do if the roast hits the floor) there are a few ways to get the help you need:
Bob Evans Holiday Helpline: (855) 4MY-TABLE
For live etiquette and entertaining help from one of the Bob Evans trained experts, the Bob Evans Holiday Helpline will be open:
December 23, 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
December 24, (CHRISTMAS EVE), 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
December 30, 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
December 31, (NEW YEAR'S EVE), 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Bob Evans Holiday Help from the Farm website:
For tips and tricks for hosting a welcoming and warm holiday meal, guests can visit the Bob Evans Holiday Help from the Farm website.

Social Media:  
www.facebook.com/bobevans , www.twitter.com/bobevans
When the Bob Evans Holiday Helpline is not open, guests can submit questions to the Bob Evans' social media channels. The questions will be answered by trained experts with a focus on Bob Evans values of hospitality, family and togetherness.

Awesome Etiquette Podcast: Episode #118: Family Guest Gluttony

You love to entertain family and friends and you're generous to a fault. But there's one family member in particular who always succeeds in eating and drinking you out of house and home and is offended by hints to curb his appetite. When is it time to throw politeness out the window and put a stop to this outrageous behavior?

Also mentioned:
  • What to order at a business lunch.
  • A group organizer who doesn't organize.
  • A rental dilemma.
  • Judgy DIY'ers.
  • Handling hurtful family interactions.
  • Extraordinarily kind stranger salute.

We're Going Independent!  

You'll still be able to find Awesome Etiquette on all your favorite podcast applications and platforms (iTunes, TuneIn, and Stitcher). Keep an eye out for a special newsletter from the Emily Post Institute for more information on how to make sure you stay up to date with Awesome Etiquette.   

You can submit your questions, comments or salutes any
time at 800-866-0868 or  awesomeetiquette@emilypost.com.
Join the Awesome Etiquette conversation on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/awesomeetiquette.

  • Have you ever wondered how you should answer the phone at work? 
  • Do you get butterflies at the thought of attending a business mixer? 
  • Are you unsure when to talk business at a business meal?
  • Do you know someone who could use a business etiquette brush up?
We're inviting you to take our updated and expanded Business Etiquette for Professionals eLearning program. We've put our best into refining, improving, and expanding our flagship program, and we're excited to share it with you!

Over the course of 12 lessons, you'll learn why your business etiquette skills can make you an asset to your company. You'll discover how the three principles of etiquette and the five-step method for solving problems create a foundation for you to know what to do when there is no specific manner. You'll get trusted advice on topics such as written communications, phone etiquette, workplace manners, professional image, social media, dining etiquette, and much more. Please join us!

Rules for Re-gifting
Lizzie Post talks about the rules for re-gifting just in time for the holidays!

Check out this video and more from our Etiquette Bites series here:  Etiquette Bites.


Read Peggy Post's thoughts on today's most nuanced wedding dilemmas in the archive of her New York Times column.

Read more of Emily Post advice in
  Good Housekeeping.

Gifts & Thank You's That Make The Season Bright!



Gift Giving Tips 


1. Always stick within your budget.  

You should never feel obligated to go beyond your means when making or purchasing gifts for someone. There is no "tit for tat" or "pay for your plate" rule. It does not matter if you were able to purchase the gift because of a coupon or discount or if you paid full price. What matters is that you feel comfortable and confident giving the gift you've chosen.  

2. Give something you feel comfortable and confident giving.  

Aside from being comfortable and confident that this gift fits your budget, you also want to make sure that the nature of the gift gives you this feeling, too. If a loved one has given you a wish list and some of the items come from stores or are categories of gifts that don't resonate with you, it's ok to go off list or choose another item from the list. Find the balance between a gift the recipient would enjoy and one that you are comfortable and confident giving.  


3. Gifts don't need to be reciprocal.  

It is very hard to sit across from someone who presents you with a gift and not feel badly if you do not have one in return. That being said: Don't feel badly if you don't have a gift to reciprocate with. Giving to someone does not mean that you expect something in return. In fact it is usually one of the last things on the mind of the giver. Yet, that empty-handedness is often the only thing on the mind of the receiver. Instead of focusing on your lack of gift, focus on the gift you have been given. Thank the giver and avoid saying things like, "Oh I left your gift at home!" or "It's stuck in the mail!" or "I didn't think we were exchanging gifts." These all take the focus off the generosity of your friend or loved one. Focus on the gift!!! You can always return the generosity at another time if you'd like and are able to. 


4. Always focus on the thought first and speak the benevolent truth.
Not every gift is going to be a home run. Sometimes it really is the thought that counts and that's where our focus has to be. In your everyday life practice taking note of things you don't care for and finding one aspect that you can appreciate. You'll be surprised by how much this little activity can help when you open a gift you don't love. "Aunt Clem this sweater looks so warm! Thank you for knitting it for me." Find that positive truth and extend it to the giver.  


5. An in-person thank you means you don't need to send a note.  

If you have received a gift in person, opened it in front of the giver and had a chance to properly thank them, then you do not need to send a thank-you note. (The exceptions to this rule are weddings, showers and birthday parties, which often involve gifts but because of their number thank you's can get a bit lost. Notes afterward allow for more individualized appreciation to be extended.) If you've got family who prefer texts, emails, or video chats and have told you they would prefer to be thanked by these methods, then by all means skip the note. But, if that isn't the case then any gift you open where the giver is not with you in person, is still considered a time when the most thoughtful of thanks is extended: the handwritten thank-you note.


Thank-you Note Tips     
1. Thank-you notes can be simple and sweet and to the point. 
Thank-you notes do not have to be long letters. They can be simple and sweet and to the point. Use a greeting sentence, then the thank you and maybe a little detail about how you'll use the gift and then a closing that either wishes the giver well, or let's them know you're looking forward to seeing them again soon. "Dear Grandma, It was so wonderful to see you at Thanksgiving this year! I absolutely love the charcoal pencils and quality paper you gave me for Hanukkah and I am looking forward to some devoted drawing time! I hope I get to see you this spring when Mom and I tour colleges. All my love, Katie" 


2. Best to send them ASAP but always better late than never. 
Technically it's almost never too late to send a thank-you note. However, it's really best to send them as soon as possible. During the holidays it can be helpful to keep a little list going as friends drop by with holiday treats and gift exchanges take place at parties or gifts arrive in the mail. Keeping a list of who has sent or given you a gift, when you received it, and what the item is can be a wonderful way during a very busy season to keep track of and ensure that you thank everyone who's given to you.     

For more information on manners for the holidays, check out Emily Post's Etiquette, 18th Edition or visit www.emilypost.com.  

IDEAS ON PINTEREST | Visit our boards. Get inspired.

December is here! Get inspired by our December Holidays Pinterest board to get ideas for your home and holiday table. And check out all our Pinterest boards for ideas and inspiration in your home!

Please visit our contact page to reach us, or you can find us on Facebook and Twitter. We love hearing from you, so feel free to post to our social media and join in the conversation. We may not always be able to respond, but we read every question and comment. From our family to yours we hope you have a wonderful month! As always, thank you for your continued interest in etiquette and The Emily Post Institute.      


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