Holiday Etiquette

Top 10 Holiday Season Tips

Posted by Liz Taylor Dec 01, 2015


Thanksgiving through the New Year is my favorite time of year. I love seeing the magic of Christmas through the eyes of my son and daughter. On top of that, little things have more meaning at this time of year: volunteering, Christmas music, beautiful décor, holiday parties, special events and getting together with your nearest and dearest. Please note ten tips that might help you throughout this holiday season:


10. Be willing to share host duties. If you’ve been hosting for years and continue to turn down offers to let others host at their home the following year, give it up and let others have their turn. Many family members have to travel quite a distance and it’s overwhelming to pack up the car and drive around making several stops over the holiday season. 


9. If you spill something, notify the host immediately and help clean up. If the soiled material needs professional work, pay for the service. If the host refuses to accept your money, mail an apology note along with cash or a check to cover the cost of the cleaning service.


8. Personalize your holiday cards even if it’s a handwritten sentence wishing the family Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas along with your signature.Also, watch the bragging; you never want to make another family feel bad for all of the lavish trips you’ve taken over the year. You can talk about it, but in a modest way.  


7. Regifting is okay if it can’t be traced back to the original giver. Make sure it’s new, in original packaging and you are certain the receiver will love it.


6. Practice your poker face. If you receive a disappointing gift, your cousin brings a horrible dish to your family Christmas dinner or you’re upset with some other aspect of the holiday; be respectful, courteous and find something polite to say. Never show your disappointment and remember what the holidays are truly about.


5. Protect the party animal. If a guest is over served at your home, cut him/her off and explain in private why you are ending their cocktail consumption. Make sure he/she has a safe ride home and never allow an intoxicated guest to drive themself home.


4. Tipping. Our research shows that your service providers prefer cash or a gift card with a personalized note of thanks over homemade cookies or creative gift ideas. General rule of thumb is to give a tip equal to one unit of service. 


3. A perfect houseguest is punctual and arrives with many treats. Offer to help, but know when to exit the kitchen.


2. A fabulous host is flexible, patient and organized. Never let your guests feel like they are in the way. Your goal is to make others feel like they are at home. Create ambiance by lighting a fire, prepare tasty food and drinks and have music appropriate for the occasion.


1. Send handwritten thank you notes. Letters of thanks should be sent to those who gave you and your kids’ gifts, hosted parties, provided hospitality… anything that warmed your heart over the holiday season.


It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the endless list of ‘to-do’s’ from Thanksgiving to the New Year. Don’t let the stress of holiday shopping, decorating, card ordering, cookie baking, etc. bog you down. The most important thing to remember is to focus on what really matters; show gratitude, consideration and respect for people you have relationships with. Slow down and give thanks to family and friends.

Sending warm wishes for a spectacular holiday season!

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“How refreshing and timely. From the texting generation to the baby boomers—the art of etiquette is sadly disappearing. Whether you just need a touch-up or a full immersion, Liz, is the person to teach you the skills to appear confident, elegant and professional in any business situation. Her energetic and engaging style will make this one of the most enjoyable seminars you have ever taken! Liz is awesome!”

—Chuck Bokar, Principal, Design Resource Center

“Absolutely superb! Liz has an amazing knack for presenting her concepts in a thought-provoking and clear style. Her ideas and suggestions would enhance anyone's ability to bridge the gap between business and etiquette. She clearly has a deep understanding of not only the topic, but the thought processes that go into creating better interpersonal relationships out of socially awkward situations. I highly recommend her and her coursework...she will help your business!”

—Brad Guck, District Manager, Administaff

“Liz, Thank you so much for coming to Indianapolis to help us grow our skills as professionals and as people. Your presentation helped us address issues with grace, candor, sensitivity – as well as fun! You were fabulous!”

—Betsy Hamlett, Director of Sales for Kenra, Ltd.

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