Etiquette In a World That Glorifies Mediocrity

I’ve hesitated on how/if to write this post. However, after numerous emails from people who are mainly put out with friends and family who seem to promote tardiness and flaunt disrespect, I’ve decided it’s time to go ahead and lay it all out there.

Today’s world seems to glorify mediocrity.

You’ve seen the memes that say, “I respect parents who have it all together. But parents who stumble in to drop their kids off at school, looking like they just got attacked by a flock of angry birds? Those are my people.” This post is not intended to shame anyone who is doing their best in the season they’re in. I’ve been there. I’ll soon be there again after baby #3’s arrival. (Side note….we need to pick a name…) There are seasons, sometimes ones that last for years, where we have to give ourselves lots and lots of grace. Perfection isn’t attainable all of the time. Nor is it wrong to show our realness and our flaws. But by promoting that it’s not only acceptable but desirable to be someone who isn’t considerate of other people’s time by being late consistently – where does this come from? Why do we accept the status quo and try play up the “cuteness” factor of not having it all together?

After truly thinking and praying on this subject, I think at the core, the real issue is that we have a culture who glorifies busyness. If you seem like you have it all together, you must not be doing enough. You must not be a parent who lets their kids be involved or you would be late to everything. You must be a subpar employee or you wouldn’t be able to leave to make your kid’s soccer practice on time. It’s almost as if someone decided that if they can’t be perfect all of the time, they’re going to do a 180 and be imperfect all of the time. We incorrectly associate busyness as progress. It is not.

If you bring Brookshire’s chicken to a potluck at church instead of fixing homemade, that is wonderful. If you deliberately show up 20 minutes late with wet hair and nothing in hand, I do think it may be time to step back and reexamine your priorities. We cannot do it all; why, though, are we allowing this to keep us from doing anything?

I’ve said it over and over, but it bears saying again. Etiquette is about respect of others and respect for ourselves. We should each respect our self enough to choose to be our best self – it will be unique for each person. We know, though, deep down, if we’re doing enough to just get by or if we’re choosing to prioritize ourselves and others. It is a subtle difference, but it’s enough to get recognized by others. Trust me when I say that people are drawn in by and attracted to this trait. It’s 100% okay to not be the best. Why, though, would you not want to be your best you?

 

 

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.