Re-gifting Etiquette

Happy New Year’s Eve (and 7th day of Christmas)! By now you may have sorted through the myriad of gifts you received. Some you may care for more than others. So, what is a good Southern Belle to do with the gifts she doesn’t exactly care for? I’m glad you asked, and I’m here to help.

First and foremost, regardless of how much you like a gift, it is worthy of a thank you note. Yes, I know that traditional etiquette says that if you thanked the gift giver in person, you are exempt from having to write a note. That’s just not commonly practiced in the South. Here, if you receive something, you send a note UNLESS the gift itself was a thank you gift.

Secondly, you are free to re-gift, provided a few rules are followed. When you are re-gifting, you should carefully considering to whom you will give the gift. You don’t want the future recipient to be put in a position of re-gifting it yet again. Try your best to make sure it will be appreciated by its future owner. If you can’t think of anyone who would want/like the gift, return it if you know where it was purchased. If not, donate it to a good cause.

When re-gifting, try your absolute best to make sure the original gifter does not find out about said re-gift. It was undoubtedly hurt his or her feelings. For example, if it was given to you by your mom, do not re-gift it to your brother.

For this rule, I speak from personal experience: Do not re-gift in the same bag you received the item in unless you’ve double-checked for name tags that could be a dead giveaway to the item being a re-gift.

Now for an aside: My car stays a wreck. I don’t know why. I feel like I continuously clean it out, but with two kids, stuff keeps getting shoved back in. I’m also in several clubs and organizations, so I have notes, minutes, etc. floating around always. This year, I gave my sister-in-law a gift I purchased for her. Read – not a re-gift. Anyhow, I’m pretty sure one of my Dial Study Club thank you notes somehow made its way into the bag, so she likely thought it was a re-gift. This is why I prefer to use wrapping paper. It’s much harder for inanimate objects to work its way into that.

Ok, back to the actual story. Regarding name tags – making sure bags are clear of old name tags is a good rule of thumb, even if the actual gift is not a re-gift. I cannot bring myself to throw out perfectly good gift bags that were briefly used. I cannot tell you the last time I re-gifted anything, but I CAN tell you it’s difficult when a bag says it’s to both my aunt and my mom. Mommy brain.

There you have it! A few, simple re-gifting guidelines to consider when sending gifts to a new home.

Note: My friend, Kayla Price Mitchell, who has the blog At Home With Kayla Price, and I both had similar blogging stories. I’ve linked hers here for you to check out, as well! Great minds. 😉

 

Door Etiquette – Who Opens For Whom?

Etiquette and common courtesies often times go hand-in-hand, and today’s topic of door opening is no exception. If you’re like me, you hear opinions from both sides. Some people argue for chivalry saying it’s kind for men to open doors for women. Some argue against it saying it’s an antiquated way of acting. I’m here to weed out the opinions from true etiquette. 😉

First, if at all possible, etiquette, particularly in the South, leans toward a man opening a door for a woman. It’s not because she isn’t capable. It’s a sign of respect. Just like in introductions, the woman is the “more important” person, the same holds true for door opening. Likewise, a younger man should hold the door open for an older man. However, there’s no sense in racing to the door to accomplish this task. If the woman gets there first, it’s completely ok for her to open the door. If a group of people are exiting a “push” door, and the first person through happens to be a woman, she should hold the door for the others. A respectful man will at least offer to take over the task for her. She may freely decline, if she so chooses.

Secondly, unless there’s a tornado or zombie apocalypse outside, people always exit before people enter. I don’t care if it’s from an elevator or a restaurant. If you are trying to enter a place, ALWAYS wait for those who are trying to immediately exit. There’s practicality behind this, too, particularly in smaller space, such as an elevator. There’s only so much room before it’s physically impossible for one to exit due to crowdedness.

It’s always kind, regardless of gender, to hold the door for the person behind you. In olden days, a man would push a door out and allow the woman through before following her out. If a man’s objective is to be kind and hold the door open, he may follow that suggestion OR he may head out first, holding the door for her exit. The woman may also just walk through, holding the door open behind her for him.

Finally, please say thank you to anyone, male or female, kind enough to hold a door open for you. You’re not accepting a proposal. It’s just a simple, nice gesture, and the world could sure use more simple, nice gestures.

As always, thank you for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

 

Facebook Live!!

Merry Christmas!! If you are feeling behind in getting your Christmas cards out, take heart! You have until the Epiphany (Jan. 6th) to do so!

Now, for the first part of the changes that are coming!!!!

Tonight I will host the FIRST (of, hopefully, many) Facebook Live video going over introduction etiquette! Sometimes it’s easier to see than read, so I hope this helps!

I want to truly make etiquette for everyone, and I know not everyone can afford to attend one of the classes or you may not be close, physically, to Sulphur Springs.

We will start at 6pm CST. I hope to see you here tonight! I’ll answer questions live and share a book I was recently given. ☺️☺️🙌

Thank you for your support!!

Want to to watch tonight? Here is my Facebook link! https://www.facebook.com/Etiquettebyemily/?ref=bookmarks

 

Election Day Etiquette, Part 1

Y’all. Today is the day. It’s the day we find out who will be our leader of the United States of America for the next four years. However, it’s also the day we find out who will serve us locally in our states and in our communities.

One of my other non-paying jobs is mayor of a medium-sized town. I have had an interest in politics since I was fairly young. Honestly, my love of politics and etiquette was established around the same time. While the two may seem to have nothing in common, I don’t just chalk it up to being a Gemini (or being more Paris than Rory….Lorelai trumps them both). They should have plenty in common, such as exhibiting respect for others, listening to listen and not just respond, being willing to help others, etc. If they don’t, well, it may be time for new leaders.

On my personal social media outlets, I do not post about politics, other than general reminders, such as where to vote if one so chooses to do so. I don’t post for whom they should vote. That’s up to them. It also is against etiquette to do so. Let me be blunt for a moment. No meme, quote or rant on Facebook will EVER change a person’s vote choice. It simply and truly will not.

It has always been considered rude to talk about politics and religion, not because we shouldn’t have deep conversations, but because more of the time these “conversations” quickly digress to arguments. The reason someone is passionately Republican may not be an issue for someone passionately Democrat. Also, there are plenty of parties out there. 🙂

More often than not, I find that people aren’t diehard for their candidate or even party. They are diehard about one or two specific issues that really hit home for them. It’s a very personal choice. Life decisions led that person to his or her choice, and one conversation is extremely unlikely to sway them from said decision. It can, however, sway them from friendships.

So, today, Election Day, I ask you – is it worth it? It being “right” more important than being kind? If so, we’ve all already lost. I would encourage you today to vote – the only avenue your voice is truly heard. However, we can all be kind to others, regardless of their political affiliation. In this era of openness and political correctness, maybe being silent isn’t such a bad thing. After all, there are surely more interesting facts about a person than for whom they are voting.

Happy Election Day. Tomorrow, regardless of the outcome, the sun will rise. I’ll see you then.

Halloween Traditions

Happy November, everyone! Can you believe I just said that? It seems like it was just May, and now we’ve officially passed by Halloween. Speaking of which, this post will be a little less on the etiquette side (though I’ll throw some in for good measure) and a little more on the traditions side of things. Also, I may step on some toes, and I apologize in advance if that’s the case.

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Truck-or-treat versus trick-or-treat. Sigh. I miss the good ol’ days. In all honesty, my trick-or-treating days were pretty light, considering my family lived in the boonies. However, we would make our way to town each All Hallow’s Eve to do door-to-door trick-or-treating. We never quite knew what to expect, and some of the houses were elaborately decorated.

This year I shared a similar experience with my kids. For the past month a house about a block from ours has had a four year-old stalker. Each night around 7:30 or 8:00, we would load up in my car, and we’d take a drive one block over to see a certain house. Now, even on an average day of the year this house is beautiful. Two stories with a second story screened porch. However, for the past month it’s also sported eyes on the windows, a 20’ tall Grim Reamer (as my daughter called it), a spider and a myriad of other Halloween decorations. It’s no surprise that the first house the kids wanted to visit was this one.

The surprise came later when very few of the homes had their porch light one. Even worse? Only about 2/3 of the ones that did were actually participating in Halloween. Listen. I get it. You’re not obligated to hand out candy to the princesses, ghosts and witches that come up to your home. However, Halloween etiquette does dictate that you kindly turn off your porch light. It’s one night a year. It won’t hurt anything.

Now here is where my theory goes a little further in two ways. First, trunk-or-treat takes out so much of the fun of trick-or-treating. The excited nervousness just isn’t there when you simply walk from car to car with your bag out. That’s not to say I wish that trunk-or-treats would go away completely. I fully respect that many religious groups disagree with Halloween. Can I share something with you, though? By trunk-or-treating, you’re still participating, no matter how much you try to church it up. My greatest wish regarding trunk-or-treats is simply that they wouldn’t be on Halloween night. #bringbackHalloween.

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“Trunk-or-treats are safer,” you might say. Well, that brings me to my next theory. I’m not quite sure which one is the chicken and which one is the egg, so bear with me for a bit. Trick-or-treating allows you to *gasp* get out in your own neighborhood. Thus, you meet your neighbors. If a house looks truly sketchy, don’t go to it. It’s likely their porch light isn’t one anyhow because they don’t want to the cops to notice their drug deals. However, last night we met some of the kindest people on our candy quest. We admired their homes in a way we never had before, we complimented their decorations and, in true Southern form, I thanked them for giving of their time to hand out candy. Yes, the kids thanked them for the candy, too.

Of course we still examined the candy once we were home, but I truly felt the people handing out candy enjoyed seeing the kids. Most were older folks who probably don’t get as many visitors as they once did. It’s a win-win.

Halloween is my favorite holiday for so many reasons. It, in my opinion, kicks off the holiday season. There’s so much unknown and excitement about it. It also is the best excuse to go around to your neighbors and have them come to you. I hope you’ll join me next year in bringing back an old fashioned Halloween. I’d love to hear your thoughts, even if they disagree with mine! Thank you for reading!