Remembering Your Friends

A tradition of yesteryear is that of having a guest book at your house. I don’t mean for your wedding, though I certainly encourage said book for that occasion, as well. I mean having a guest book for the Halloween parties, the Easter egg hunts, the birthday parties, etc. that happen in your life.

I’m bringing this trend back for 2018 (even if it never fully catches one). I had the opportunity to take a history walk with a local historian, John Sellers. Now, John’s expertise isn’t limited to local history. He has spoken all over the USA and is well-known for his love and knowledge of history.

During this history walk, he mentioned that the home we were touring had a guest book in it where he found his mother’s name signed in it. Her maiden name. I mean, how neat is that?! I hope one day my kids are able to look back through various guests books and will recall the family traditions we had and the fun with friends we shared. You can get this beautiful Guest Book: Illustrated Nature Edition here.

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Mass Thank You Notes

Today’s post is brought to you by a reader’s comment from this post. I thought it was such an important topic, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t already touched on it!

A common trend to escape actually writing thank you notes is for the recipient of a gift to send a group email or send a thank you note to everyone from work/church/etc. This, though, defeats the purpose of the thank you note, which is to express genuine thanks specifically to a person or family. The most people you should include on a thank you note would be everyone who resides in a single home. So, sending one to Uncle John, Aunt Sue and cousins Mark and Maggie is acceptable. Sending one to all 15 members of the IT department is not.

One minor exception would be to send a group email expressing thanks before following up with a hand-written note.

Ideally, a thank you note is physical (not electronic); it is to one person or family; it is handwritten.

The note doesn’t need to be lengthy. Let the giver know how the gift will be used and that it is appreciated. I always suggest adding in that you appreciate that they attended/missed them and one other personal thing in the note.

Thank you for the topic suggestion!

Announcment: Invitations Coming Soon

Y’all. My son is turning four years old. I can barely believe it. As I was looking through Etsy to find an invitation I liked, I kept stumbling across absolutely beautiful bridal and baby shower invitations. However, I noticed a common theme. The registry was written on each and every one of them. I do know that it’s simple and easy. However, I also know that it can look cheap and as though that’s the only reason you’re having a shower.

So, instead of lamenting this problem forever, I decided to take matters into my own hands! Coming soon will be etiquette-approved invitations for all occasions! Bridal, baby, graduation, birthday…you name it! Also, in case you’re wondering, I will have a way to let people know that you are registered without it being the primary focus of the invitation. I’m so excited to bring this to you!

As always, thank you for reading!

 

RSVP Explained

I’ve talked about RSVP, the translation and what it means before, but since then I’ve received questions from people regarding it a little more. More commonly the question is, “When can I back out of an RSVP?” To be honest, only in the event of an emergency. If you receive a “better” invitation, that’s not the appropropriate time to back out of an RSVP’d event.

Backing out after accepting an invitation is telling your would-have-been hosts that something more appealing came up. By sending a positive RSVP, you are, in truth, forgoing any other options that may be presented to you later. Acceptable cirumstances you would be able to later decline would include becoming sick or having a child or a dependent become sick. It would not include having a friend decide to come to visit last minute or that you received a party invite that seemed more fun.

I know this may all sound harsh, but the truth is, when someone extends you an invitation, they aren’t just trying to fill a seat. They want you there. And it is, to be blunt, rude when you initially accept and then back out once something “better” has come along.

All of that being said, the people who are asking the question are not people I consider rude. I think this is just a case of people living busy lives and time being limited. This is not a generational thing either. It’s a cultural  and societal problem.We glorify busyness for the sake of being busy and think that if you can survive without caffeine, you’re not doing enough. We live in a time where store are open 24/7 so that we are never without. We don’t have to wait for anything, adding to the instant gratification issue. Heaven forbid anyone who has a cell phone not answer a call or text. We are held hostage in our lives.

I say we all deserve better. We deserve months that aren’t so packed with activities that we don’t know what to do with an evening off. Consideration of other people’s time starts with consideration of our own. Do not feel pressured to accept every invitaiton you receive. You don’t need to give a reason. Simply let them know you will not be able to attend. That being said, have respect for any invitation you do accept and make sure to attend.

So, how far out do you need to send your reply? Unless a date is stated, two weeks prior to an event is a solid amount of time to give the hosts time to prepare. Let’s all do our part to send our reply from this point forward. Thank you for reading!

The Pay-It-Forward Phenomenon

In recent years, the pay-it-forward phenomenon has become a “thing.” If you haven’t been part of this chain reaction, allow me to explain it and my thoughts on it.

Usually, it takes place in a drive-thru line. Once you place your order, you pull up, fully expecting to pay. However, lo and behold, your meal has already been taken care of. So, in some point in time, someone decided the correct thing to do would be to “pay it forward” right then and there. So, instead of paying for your own meal, you then pay for the person’s meal behind you, and the story continues.

In theory, this is all well and good. However, I truly do not care for the practice. If you know me in person, I enjoy paying for people’s drinks/meals randomly behind us in the drive-thru line. However, I never realized until I heard of this practice, that I may actually be placing a burden on them. I would never, ever want to do that.

You see, many people plan their meals very carefully financially. They should not feel pressured into paying for anything other than what they originally planned to pay for. Now, you may not think this is the case, but I have, unfortunately, witnessed someone trying to guilt someone into keeping this practice going. Not okay.

Additionally, we have pulled away from a grace-filled society. I have a hard time accepting compliments, which can impact my willingness to give them. Not because I don’t think your dress is cute and not because I don’t think you have a pretty smile. It’s because, for a while, it was not a part of my norm.

We should allow ourselves to accept compliments and accept a drink at Starbucks without feeling any amount of guilt. No guilt to pass it on. No guilt that someone might think we’re better. I think some of this guilt derived from a “participation trophy” society. It is not selfish to say thank you to something and move on without trying to level the playing field, so to speak.

I know this is a topic some of you may not agree with me on, and that’s ok. We’re allowed to be different. I’m in no way saying to never pay for a drink if yours has been paid for. I’m simply saying, don’t feel obligated to, and please never make someone feel obligated to. 🙂 I’d love to hear your thoughts, regardless of whether or not they agree with mine!

As always, thank you for reading!