Mrs. McVeigh's Manners
a division of Elise McVeigh's Life Camps
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All posts tagged 'children's manners classes'

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No gift? – It is NOT Impolite


You are at your in-laws house this holiday, and your spouse’s sweet distant cousin, who you did not know is going to be there, hands you a gift. You panic and die of embarrassment because you do not have a gift to give her. You do not know what to say. Should you tell her you forgot hers? That you did not know she was going to be there, so you did not get her anything? The only response you need to give her is “thank you”. You can add a “how thoughtful” if you want to.

If someone gives you a gift and you do not have one for him/her, it is okay.  Adults seem to have a hard time with this. Holiday giving is not tit for tat. Responses I have heard included:  “I ordered yours and it is has not come in yet”, to “I am so embarrassed that I do not have anything for you.”  I have also had people drop off a gift to me the next day, and it is obvious that they did it out of obligation because of my gift. 

You do not have to do any of those things, or feel any guilt. Just say “thank you”, and follow it up with a hand written thank you note.  If you are the type of person who feels bad about this sort of thing, you can think of the person another time during the year, such as taking the person to lunch, or give her a gift on her birthday. There is no need to run out and buy something for someone at the last minute. If you feel moved to give the person something next December, then great. Know that you never are obligated to give anyone a holiday present.


Pleasing your toughest critics during the holidays in an affordable way


            The news reported that retail sales over the Thanksgiving weekend were high.  The newscaster commented that people may be back to their old habits of spending money they do not have. If you find yourself spending more than you would like to (or need to) during the holidays, then remember that it really is the thought that counts. If you fear old Aunt Martha may tell people you are cheap, here are some ideas that will make you look more clever and thoughtful.

            Baking a holiday treat from scratch is truly a novelty these days. Find a treat that Aunt Martha has not seen in years, and put it in an elaborate or decorative looking container. Attach a card with the recipe on one side, and a pretend company with your name on the other, such as “Elise’s Edibles.” You can tell her you really have been listening to her childhood stories all of these years of what her grandmother used to bake for her.

How about enlarging or restoring a childhood photo that means a lot to Martha, such as her on her first bike or with her late siblings? You can put it on your own scanner to enlarge, or take it to a specialty printer to enlarge or restore. This is a gift that you can range a lot in price, so keep in mind the value in this gift is the sentiment, not size or deluxe restoration.  

            Collect (or purchase inexpensively) pinecones.  Put them in a basket, add a holiday bow, and you have a beautiful gift. You can add some good smelling accents from the local craft store, and your gift will be fabulous. This can make a great centerpiece and be used for years to come.

            There are many ideas out there like this that do not look “cheap”, and will not break the bank.  Even your toughest holiday critic will be impressed with your clever and customized gift.  

  1. Re: Etiquette and left over food after a holiday meal

    Nice blog to read on.Well after that,you might have some leftovers.Using leftovers isn't really that


  2. Re: Giving and Receiving Gifts

    SOOO agree with this answer. I really get tired of the 'competitiveness' of gift giving from some o


  3. Re: New Year's Resolutions - Finding the Balance in Life

    This posting really resonated with me. My New Year's Resolution for 2010 is to SIMPLIFY my life. Thi

    --Mrs. Simplify