gmhTODAY 17 gmhToday Nov Dec 2017 - Page 88

manners MATTER BY KAREN LA CORTE T he holidays are my favorite time of the year. It is a time of family and friends gathering together to share food, drink and companionship. It is a time to reflect on what and who we are thankful for. It is not always about gifts, although gift giving is a custom at Christmas. It should not be just about numerous holiday parties and the dread of what to wear. It should not be about the pressure to have the perfect tree adorned with creative orna- ments. It is simply about being thankful - the most important courtesy in the manners department. The holiday season is a time to put all our manners in check. It is a warm and fuzzy time of year with cinnamon scents, crackling fires, golden falling leaves and crisp dewy mornings. It is sweater weather. It is a time to celebrate what is important in our lives and what kind of person we aspire to be. Family traditions are something to look for- ward to when planning your holiday gathering. Being organized in the days ahead make for an effortless event for everyone. Giving Thanks The Ultimate Lesson in Manners at the Holidays THE MENU – The food is the center of attention here. Turkey, prime rib, ravioli’s and our traditional cracked crab for Christmas Eve, are some of my favorites. What are yours? Oh, and don’t forget the raspberry jello mold for Aunt Mary! 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 88 THE GUEST LIST – Invite family and friends of your choice at least a month in advance. This is a common courtesy so folks can plan ahead and know where they are going and what time. Be specific. Being late for the planned party is bad manners. Assign pot luck items to include folks in the meal preparation process. A bottle of wine can be assigned to a family member who doesn’t cook or who is traveling from a distance. Make sure there are non-alc