2017 Announcement #1

Happy New Year! I am so excited about some of the blog changes coming in 2017, and I hope you will be, too!

I feel like I need to make a confession. I am not prim and proper. I simply have a love of all things etiquette. I’m going to take the easy way out and blame it on being a Gemini. 😉 However, to be more authentic, I am adding a series on Everything Emily. I want y’all to see a real life and how etiquette is brought into it. I want to promote etiquette for everyone, and that means showing y’all the times I fail miserably at it. Do I dream of having a perfectly clean house, a guest book ready and waiting by the door and non-sticky kids? You betcha. Do I have any of that? Excuse me while I go laugh for about six hours. Nope. Not even close.

I expect my kids to be polite. I want them to grow up having etiquette as part of their everyday life, but I struggle with the middle ground. I know the implications of not following etiquette too well to just let things always slide. But I also understand the importance of living in the moment. Let me be as clear as I can be. Having kids jump in mud puddle is NOT against etiquette. Co-sleeping, bottle feeding, nursing, cry-it-out – whatever your parenting choice may be – is NOT against etiquette.

Etiquette is simply the bringing together of cultural and societal norms. It varies by region, which is why I state I teach Southern etiquette. It varies by country. I love this so much about etiquette. I don’t want so much sameness in the world that we lose our core values – the same values that make up our etiquette.

If you’re using etiquette to put others down, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re using etiquette to feel superior, you’re doing it wrong. NOTHING about etiquette would ever approve this. Etiquette is about feeling comfortable in any situation, but more than that, etiquette is about making OTHERS feel comfortable in any situation. You may absolutely guide someone if they are breeching etiquette, but if you’re doing it correctly, they’ll never know you did it.

Everything Emily will post weekly. I’m not sure of the day, yet, but I will let y’all know!

Announcement #2 sneak peek. Are y’all following my #southerngracesocialclub? If not, you should. 😉

 

The Two Epiphanies

Today I had an epiphany. Not like the one that will take place on January 6th. The lower-case kind. Ironically, it had to do with the 12 days of Christmas. A little backstory on me. Growing up, my dad was Catholic, and my mom was United Methodist. We’ll just say “Methodist” for short. We’d attend Mass at 9am, head to eat breakfast, then go to Wesley for the 11am service. Suffice it to say, I got a double dose. Most Sundays, the readings were similar, if not the same, at both churches. Until I was about ten or so, I thought boys were Catholics and girls were Methodists. I don’t know. I just did.

When I was 14, I made the decision to join the United Methodist Church. Prior to this conviction, though, I spent a lot of time researching the different denominations, including others I wasn’t raised with. During this time, I really explored the different seasons of the church. If you haven’t been able to tell, I absolutely love traditions, and the seasons of the church are quite traditional.

While I had always known that the Christmas season starts on December 25th and lasts for the next 12 days, I had NO idea (truly, no idea until this morning), that this wasn’t common knowledge. So, I decided to dedicate today’s blog to being the 10th day of Christmas and to promote the idea of traditions and celebration of Christmas.

My husband and I haven’t taken down our Christmas decorations. Now you know we’re not lazy (at least not about this). We just are choosing to celebrate all 12 days of Christmas. If you choose to not, that’s completely ok. I just posted the meme as a humorous aside. 🙂

So, a little 12 days of Christmas etiquette and traditions.

  • Traditionally, the tree and nativity scene remain until Epiphany. We elect to keep all of our decorations up since we keep our decorations in the attic. One trip is much better for me. 🙂
  • On the Twelfth Night, there are oftentimes parties to celebrate Christmas.
  • Each day of Christmas represents a day honoring or remembering different people/events. Several of the days honor a saint.
  • Here is another reference for your convenience! http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/12daysofchristmas.shtml 

Thank you for reading and Merry Christmas!

I truly did not know that people thought the 12 days of Christmas started BEFORE Christmas day instead of beginning on Christmas day, as is correct. I wouldn’t have known people did not know when the 12 days began if I hadn’t wished someone a Merry Christmas today. Please email me any etiquette question you’d like explained! 🙂 etiquettebyemily@gmail.com

Also, I know the dessert forks are facing the incorrect position. 🙂 My daughter helped set the table, and I didn’t catch the mistake until after the picture had been taken.

     

 

 

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