gmhTODAY 11 gmhToday Nov Dec 2016 - Page 75

manners MATTER BY KAREN LA CORTE Holiday Manners Karen La Corte is an etiquette and manners expert trained and certified by the Emily Post Institute in Vermont. She has been teaching etiquette and manners to children and adults for over thirty years. She is also a certified image and fashion consultant. Karen is happy to answer any personal etiquette or image questions you may have by emailing her at karen@marxtowing.com It’s that magical time of the year again – The Holidays! Along with the shopping, the decorating, holiday cards, the cooking and the baking, it’s the season for spreading Christmas cheer. Family gatherings, neighborhood gettogethers, church socials, and the “obligatory” company party are just a few events you might find yourself attending. How do we get through the rush, the frustration, the bad tempers, and the rudeness and still mind our manners? Well, it’s all about ATTITUDE. Embracing the season will make the busiest time of year easier to deal with than the Bah Humbug approach. Smile. Think positive. It’s all about mind-set. Your game plan – to make this the best holiday season ever! Now that I have you on-board, let’s focus on a few tips that will help you keep your cool and make your season bright. The secret to success in finding joy in the holiday season is ORGANIZATION. Make lists. I’m a big proponent of making lists for everything. It frees up my brain from being on overload by having to re-member everything I have to do. Make a list for gifts (who receives the gift and an idea of what you want to give), for meal planning and entertainment (this includes the menu for Christmas dinner as well as the appetizers you want to make for that cocktail party), and a list for your décor (when going to Target do you need lights, ornaments, extension cords etc.?) Next, PLAN. Make sure you put all your social obligations and appointments on your calendar. If you have more than one function on the same day, check the timing. If it’s possible you may want to go to two out of three. Don’t laugh. It happens. The most important thing here is to RSVP. Practice good manners by respecting the fact that the host/hostess needs to know if you’re attending, by her RSVP date, in order to plan for the party. WHAT TO WEAR – When all else fails, ladies wear that little black dress. That dress or black pants suit can be dressed up with a red or green jacket, jewelry to match, or a fabulous shoe that no one can take their eyes off of. Gentlemen can always wear black or brown slacks and a crisp white shirt. When wearing a jacket, a red or green silk handkerchief in your pocket goes along way for style. This can even be worn with your jeans for a more casual flair. And, always check with the host/hostess as to what is meant by “holiday attire.” It could mean a sweater or sequins. THE PARTY – Do you have to go to every party? No. Not unless you want to. You do, however, have to go to your company party. This GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 gmhtoday.com can be a career-breaker if you decide not to go. This shows disrespect to your company, your boss and those you work with every day. GIFTING – Try to give some thought as to what someone really likes. A box of chocolates for a diabetic is not a good idea. You don’t need to break the bank here either. Try and prepare a budget when making the list I talked about earlier. Other than your family, friends, or your Secret Santa, it is good manners to bring a gift to the host/hostess of the party you are attending. It shows your appreciation. This can be a bottle of wine, flowers, or baked goods for example. Never leave a party without acknowledging the host/hostess by thanking them. And, it isn’t a must, but good manners to follow-up with a thank you note. RE-GIFTING – This is a very risky thing to do in my opinion. We’ve all done it. Yet, it defeats the purpose of the personal gift. I’m not going to tell you not do it, just use caution and your better judgement. DRINKING – Know your limit. Be on the conservative side especially at a company party. I have a one drink rule for company parties – two at the most. The boss can learn a lot about someone who drinks to excess at the company Christmas party! This is not the time to tie one on so to speak. This goes for the charity organization holiday appetizer party as well. Two drink limit please! CELL PHONES – Put them on manner mode at the party. You can check messages periodically in the bathroom or outside. PATIENCE – Yelling at a salesclerk because they are out of an item you want only makes you look foolish and rude. If you have a problem, ask to speak to a manager. HOLIDAY CARDS – Not everyone sends the holiday card. Some are inclined to include the one-page letter letting everyone know what they have done for the past year. If it’s brief, funny and epic like the birth of a baby, then by all means include it. Otherwise a nice card is always appreciated as it shows you want to connect with those you love. From the standpoint of etiquette, you are supposed to hand sign your name to the card even if they are professionally printed. Labels for addresses are acceptable. TIPPING – For the nail person, hairdresser/barber or anyone else that has been performing a service for you, it is good manners to give them a monetary gift equivalent to the fee that is charged you for that service. Household help would receive a full months extra pay for their service to you. MAGIC – “Please”, “Thank you”, and “You’re Welcome” are magic words that will smooth the way for better service and create a kinder atmosphere wherever you go. Graciousness, patience and friendliness go a long way to counteract rudeness. You’ll feel better for being kind and will inspire some holiday cheer along the way. Happy Holidays! 75 manners MATTER BY KAREN LA CORTE I Holiday Manners Karen La Corte is an etiquette and manners expert trained and certi- fied by the Emily Post Institute in Vermont. She has been teaching eti- quette and manners to children and adults for over thirty years. She is also a certified image and fashion consultant. Karen is happy to answer any personal etiquette or image questions you may have by emailing her at karen@marxtowing.com t’s that magical time of the year again – The Holidays! Along with the shopping, the deco- rating, holiday cards, the cooking and the baking, it’s the season for spreading Christmas cheer. Family gatherings, neighborhood get- togethers, church socials, and the “obligatory” company party are just a few events you might find yourself attending. How do we get through the rush, the frus- tration, the bad tempers, and the rudeness and still mind our manners? Well, it’s all about ATTITUDE. Embracing the season will make the busiest time of year easier to deal with than the Bah Humbug approach. Smile. Think posi- tive. It’s all about mind-set. Your game plan – to make this the best holiday season ever! Now that I have you on-board, let’s focus on a few tips that will help you keep your cool and make your season bright. The secret to success in finding joy in the holi- day season is ORGANIZATION. Make lists. I’m a big proponent of making lists for everything. It frees up my brain from being on overload by having to re-member everything I have to do. Make a list for gifts (who receives the gift and an idea of what you want to give), for meal plan- ning and entertainment (this includes the menu for Christmas dinner as well as the appetizers you want to make for that cocktail party), and a list for your décor (when going to Target do you need lights, ornaments, extension cords etc.?) Next, PLAN. Make sure you put all your social obligations and appointments on your calendar. If you have more than one function on the same day, check the timing. If it’s possible you may want to go to two out of three. Don’t laugh. It happens. The most important thing here is to RSVP. Practice good manners by respecting the fact that the host/hostess needs to know if you’re attending, by her RSVP date, in order to plan for the party. WHAT TO WEAR – When all else fails, ladies wear that little black dress. That dress or black pants suit can be dressed up with a red or green jacket, jewelry to match, or a fabulous shoe that no one can take their eyes off of. Gentlemen can always wear black or brown slacks and a crisp white shirt. 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