Mrs. McVeigh's Manners
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Be polite while finding a seat at the Christmas Eve Service

 

            The church we attend gets filled quickly for the 5:00 Christmas Eve service.  We get there every year at 4:00 to make sure we get a decent seat. I always bring note cards to write thank you notes to kill time before the service, but it is actually quite entertaining watching people try to save and find seats before the service begins.  I actually heard a lady this year get snippy at someone asking if she was saving seats for someone. Now that’s the holiday spirit!

 A few pews up from me, I saw someone spread out a coat on a pew, in attempt to save the whole row while he left to go do something.  Most people respected the coat and looked for other seats, but then a gutsy group finally came along decided the coat did not count, and they moved it over and sat in the pew. I pointed it out to my husband, and he said maybe seating at a holiday service should be like MiCocina in Highland Park Village – you do not get to take your seat until the majority of your party is there and ready. They actually tell you how many people you have to have before you can be seated.

The “Mi Cocina Policy” is not official etiquette, but it makes sense and can apply to church pew seating.  It is okay if Dad is parking the car, or Mom takes a little one to the restroom before they are seated with the rest of the group, but one person holding a whole pew for almost an hour may be pushing it. I have seen it lead to rude remarks, accusations, and hurt feelings.

Maybe my church should have the Mi Cocina manager come over with her hostesses to retrain the ushers every Christmas Eve. It won’t be as entertaining, but it will make a lot of people more polite before the Christmas Eve service.

Manners New Year’s Resolutions

 

When thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions this year, how about adding some that have to do with improving your manners? Here are a few simple things that can make a difference in your life (and other people’s life too).

Do not eat and walk. It is a common habit among Americans. We are always in a rush, and we like to multi-task, but not only is eating and walking rude, it can add to weight gain. 

Sit down at the dinner table as a family more often – with the television off. We all say that we do this, but in reality we do not do it often enough.  Not only can everyone use their extra good table manners, but the conversations that your family has is more memorable at the dinner table, then when you are sitting in front of the TV or even sitting on the kitchen bar stools.

Turn all screens off for at least 15 minutes a day as soon as your children and/or spouse arrive home, and talk about your day.  Any texts or emails can wait for an answer, and your family will (re)learn how to give people their full attention as they speak.

Answer all party invitations within 3 days.  We all put off responding to invitations for whatever reason. Check your calendar as soon as you open the invitation, and try to give your hostess an answer asap.

Write more hand written notes. From a thank you note, to telling someone you enjoyed meeting her for coffee, or telling a friend you are there for him during a crisis, a hand written note is always received with joy, and is greatly appreciated.

Before making a phone call to make an appointment to a doctor’s office or beauty treatment, know when your last appointment was, and some possible dates and times that you would like to come in again.  It can be rather frustrating for the person who is trying to set the appointment for you if you take a lot of time to look up or think about this type of information.

If you try to implement one or all of these suggestions to improve your good manners, you will see that your year will be a better one because of your positive changes.

 

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Etiquette and left over food after a holiday meal

 

            You are at your sister-in-law’s house and you are getting ready to leave. You brought two bottles of wine, but only drank one. Is it okay to take the other one back?  Though tempting to take it with you, etiquette says to leave it there. There are etiquette rules of how to handle bringing (and taking) food and beverages to someone’s house, if you are the guest or the hostess. Here are some more examples of what to do.

  One time when my family was a guest in someone else’s house for a holiday, my mother brought a dessert for the hostess.  The hostess never served the dessert, and handed it back to my mother as we were leaving and said, “We won’t eat this, so you can take it back.” My mother was embarrassed and horrified by this gesture.  As a hostess you may think you are doing the person a “favor” by giving back their food or drink, but first consider the relationship you have with the person, and the context of how the food was presented to you. In this case my mother presented it as a gift, and got her feelings hurt when it was not wanted.

When you bring food or wine to someone’s house, make it clear what the intention is. For example, you can tell your hostess that she is welcome to put it out with the other food, or if it is for the hostess to enjoy another day. When someone brings food to your house and no exact direction is given, you can say something like, “This dessert looks delicious! Shall we try some after our meal?” This should clarify what the exact motivation is.

            When your hostess has leftovers, even if it is a relative, do not assume that you can help yourself. Let her offer every time that you are there, and be conservative on how much you take. I have seen relatives who bring their own plastic food containers, and help themselves to what they want. Others would fight over the leftovers of their mother’s family favorite pie.

Remember your good manners this holiday season, and try to restrain yourself from taking back what you came with, and be conservative on taking home any offered leftovers.  Even close relatives judge one another on their manners, so use your best manners to help make the holiday season a joy for everyone.

           

           

 

 

Etiquette and left over food after a holiday meal

 

            You are at your sister-in-law’s house and you are getting ready to leave. You brought two bottles of wine, but only drank one. Is it okay to take the other one back?  Though tempting to take it with you, etiquette says to leave it there. There are etiquette rules of how to handle bringing (and taking) food and beverages to someone’s house, if you are the guest or the hostess. Here are some more examples of what to do.

  One time when my family was a guest in someone else’s house for a holiday, my mother brought a dessert for the hostess.  The hostess never served the dessert, and handed it back to my mother as we were leaving and said, “We won’t eat this, so you can take it back.” My mother was embarrassed and horrified by this gesture.  As a hostess you may think you are doing the person a “favor” by giving back their food or drink, but first consider the relationship you have with the person, and the context of how the food was presented to you. In this case my mother presented it as a gift, and got her feelings hurt when it was not wanted.

When you bring food or wine to someone’s house, make it clear what the intention is. For example, you can tell your hostess that she is welcome to put it out with the other food, or if it is for the hostess to enjoy another day. When someone brings food to your house and no exact direction is given, you can say something like, “This dessert looks delicious! Shall we try some after our meal?” This should clarify what the exact motivation is.

            When your hostess has leftovers, even if it is a relative, do not assume that you can help yourself. Let her offer every time that you are there, and be conservative on how much you take. I have seen relatives who bring their own plastic food containers, and help themselves to what they want. Others would fight over the leftovers of their mother’s family favorite pie.

Remember your good manners this holiday season, and try to restrain yourself from taking back what you came with, and be conservative on taking home any offered leftovers.  Even close relatives judge one another on their manners, so use your best manners to help make the holiday season a joy for everyone.

           

           

 

 

  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

    --KarenaS

  2. Re: Giving and Receiving Gifts

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

    --ChristaRoehl

  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

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