The Twelve Days of Christmas

I’ve written briefly on the 12 Days of Christmas in the past here in regards to how long you may leave Christmas decorations up. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people insist they must be taken down before New Year’s Day, as the Christmas season extends from December 25th through January 5th, concluding  Janary 6th with Epiphany. Clearly New Year’s Day is in the middle of the 12 Days of Christmas.

I’ve also written that it is perfectly acceptable to send Christmas cards through the end of the 12 days.

However, today I want to briefly talk on the importance of the 12 days. As a Christian, Christmas has much more than a secular meaning to me. During the 12 Days of Christmas, we remember the birth of Jesus, the killing of innocent children by King Herod, the importance of John the Apostle, among many other vital parts of our Christian faith.

Advent, the time beginning four Sundays prior to Christmas, prepares our hearts and minds for Christmas. The anticipation adds a specialness you can’t find in a store. I also feel is helps keep my family grounded and our eyes on the cross.

Keep in mind, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – Geaorge Santayana

Why I Blog on More Than Etiquette

I’ve head some recent emails actually thanking me for blogging on topics other than etiquette. They said they had liked my blog but were hesitant to visit at first because they were afraid it wouldn’t apply to their life.

I get it. I truly do. I was hesitant to even start a blog, but I’m so thankful I did. I had “started” blogs on and off for years. I never had much follow through. Just ideas. I didn’t know how to make etiquette applicable to a large group of people. I still don’t feel like I’m there, but I try each day to remember that etiquette IS about more than forks and knives. It’s about kindness. It’s about respect for others. It’s also about respect for oneself, which is why I’m working on a mini series on dressing well. 🙂 We are allowed to respect ourselves.

Because, to me, tradition and etiquette go together, I love writing about traditions in my blog. Etiquette is so regional that traditions play a big part in why etiquette in one area may not be the etiquette for another.

I am very grateful to you, the readers, for being so willing to read on more than just etiquette. There are plenty of etiquette blogs out there that tell you what to do. Many, though, fail on the why. So if you weren’t raised with etiquette or with a certain protocol, you may feel overwhelmed or uncertain – neither of which feeling makes you feel comfortable actually using the etiquette the sites describe. This is the area I try to differ on. I want people to know why white after Labor Day is considered a fashion faux pas. I want people to understand how they portray themselves to others will make or break them in the business world. This is important to me. Thank you for letting me be different from the rest.

Save-the-Dates vs. Invitations

There is a little confusion, it seems, on when to send a wedding invitation. Per etiquette, a wedding invitation is sent around eight weeks prior to the wedding, with the RSVP due back two to three weeks before the big day. In our busy world, this may be mind-boggling, but it truly is correct. Enter, the save-the-date card. This is NOT a formal invitation, so please be mindful to send anyone a follow up formal invitation if you send them a save-the-date. These, however, may be sent as soon as the date is set. It is a good middle ground on etiquette vs. necessity. It is, however, a fairly new tradition and once considered quite gaudy and presumptuous. Now, though, it is honestly considered thoughtful – just goes to show how much things can change in a short period of time!

The save-the-date may be informal and include a wedding website. Like it’s counterpart, it still should NOT directly refer to a registry. It can be postcard format, a magnet, a cute card, etc. There are countless options to announce your wedding date, so feel free to show your creativity!

invitation

For an invitation, certain aspects should be included: the people who are getting hitched, the ones actually inviting (traditionally, the bride’s family), the date, the time, the location. For a VERY informal wedding, the RSVP may be included at the bottom. For your typical wedding, though, you should include an RSVP card with the RSVP by date on the RSVP card. Also, if you are requesting that guests mail their RSVP in to you, please pre-stamp the envelope. Yes, it’s a small additional cost, but it’s just tacky to not. Again, have a wedding you can afford.

Monogramming Madness: Your married monogram should NOT be displayed or used until after the wedding (it may actually be used at the VERY end of the wedding, once you are pronounced husband and wife). The best time to display is at the reception. Please keep this in mind for save-the-dates and invitations!

Any questions? Just ask! I’ll be happy to answer!