Give the Gift of Your Best Manners

The holidays will be upon us soon.  Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Christmas and New Year's will be here in a blink. There will be many opportunities to entertain and to attend parties.  Why not use this holiday season as an opportunity to give the gift of good manners.  Here is a short list to consider before you walk out the door to an event or gathering:

  1. Do I have a gift for the host or hostess?
  2. Am I dressed appropriately?
  3. Am I going to be on time?
  4. Do I know who is going to be there?
  5. Do I have enough business cards if the event is business-related?
  6. Is my phone on vibrate?
  7. Am I properly groomed?
  8. Have I thought about what I am going to do if I have too much to drink?

If you have children, use the holiday gatherings as an opportunity to teach them how to socialize.  Here are some helpful tips:

  1. No cell phones on or at a dining table.
  2. Teach them how to dress properly so that everyone in the room is comfortable with their attire. Winter is upon us and socks and belts are part of the proper attire category.
  3. Teach them how to make small talk and ask questions, how to visit and make eye contact.
  4. Teach them about portion control at an event or a dinner. 
  5. Teach them how to sit up straight at a table and how to bring food to their mouths. 
  6. Teach them how to write thank you notes for gifts and gestures.
  7. Teach them how to take advantage of opportunities to be kind, generous and charitable.

'Tis the season for giving.  Use this opportunity to really give the gift of civility. 


Colleen Harding

Colleen Harding is the founder of the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol.  She has two certifications from the American School of Protocol, one in traditional etiquette and the other in corporate training. 

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Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 5:13 PM, 10.30.2013