Each year I notice the Christmas decorations going up earlier and earlier and coming down sooner and sooner. Part of this may be the secularization of the Christmas holiday. However, I want to remind those celebrating of a Christian faith, the Christmas season is not over, yet! The 12 days of Christmas begin on December 25th, concluding on January 5th, bringing us to the Epiphany on January 6th (and the start of Carnival!).
I’ve had four different messages asking about when to take down the decorations. Ok, not strictly etiquette, but etiquette is essentially guidelines for how we live, so, to me, this applies. 😉 It is fully appropriate to leave Christmas decorations up and lit until after the Christmas season. Appropriately, mid-January is plenty acceptable. We get a live tree, which I generally forget to water (along with the rest of my plants), so my decorations come down on January 6th, come rain or come shine.
Likewise, Christmas parties and gatherings are perfectly acceptable to have or attend post-December 25th. In actuality, it is preferable than attending a Christmas party on, say, November 5th. So, celebrate away!
Also, if you live near Sulphur Springs and don’t have a King Cake for Carnival (Mardi Gras), don’t feel as though you need to wait until Fat Tuesday! Carnival season will begin January 6th and conclude on Fat Tuesday, which is February 9th for 2016. Here is a link you can order your cake from: https://squareup.com/market/sulphurspringsbakery/king-cake.
***I do NOT receive any affiliate fee from the above link. I just enjoy their bakery. 🙂
I’m a big believer in not reinventing the wheel. Here is a link to a great introduction cheat sheet. Enjoy!
Properly Introduce Guests
Alright, I’m going to tackle a question I’ve been asked a couple of times now, but I’ll divide it up for you. ☺
Registries: should you register for honeymoon extras?
Answer: Here is the reality: no one is required to give you anything for getting married. I know that isn’t a fun answer, but at the truth. That being said, it is most likely people will. However, like your wedding, plan for a honeymoon YOU can afford. It is becoming trendy to give experience gifts, but it can also come across as tacky. While it is ok to register, be selective in who you inform of this registry. Extra tip since it’s Monday: NEVER put a registry (wedding, baby shower, etc) on an invitation. You can slip in a registry list on a separate piece of paper or, the best option, though least convenient, let people know of the registry in person or on the phone. Unless your grandma loves giving experience gifts, I’d offer her a more traditional registry list. Don’t forget!! January 10th will be the Sulphur Springs Bridal Fair!
Photo Credit: http://www.healthline.com/hlcmsresource/images/diabetesmine/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/honeymoon.jpg
Alright, ladies and gents. I get asked all of the time what are a couple of “advanced” etiquette rules. I really prefer thinking of etiquette as all on the same level and easily used by everyone, but I get their gist. Essentially, what are some rules not everyone normally knows? First, the hosts should sit at each head of the table. The female guest of honor sits at the right of the male host, and the male guest of honor sits at the right of the female host. This way everyone gets to converse with someone new. As my husband is known for saying (and by known for, I mean what he told his boss yesterday who plopped down beside me), “I get to see her every day.” Sigh…such a romantic I married. 😉
Anyhow, once you’re comfortable knowing where to sit (and a good host will have place cards for a more formal dinner), what do you do? Dig in! I kid, I kid. Place your napkin on your lap. Remember this one? I’ve been over it once or twice before. Ahem. Once you’re ready to actually eat, only cut one or two bites (when splitting a large piece, it makes two. Look at that math…). While it is considered rude to pre-cut your meat, it also makes sense in keeping your food warm for longer.
Now, while you never should salt or pepper your food prior to tasting, if someone asks for the salt, remember that pepper is a jealous spouse and wants to tag along, too. They’re married. Don’t split them up. Pass them as a pair. Fun fact: formal dinners should have individual salt and pepper holders (sometimes shakers, sometimes small bowls with tiny spoons) at each place.
Now, I had to just throw in a picture of my Christmas table just because. 😉 What are your other table etiquette questions? Thanks for reading!!