|Compliments of the|
Emily Post Institute
Rosanna asked me to share with you, her readers, what interests people most at this time of year. Not surprisingly, I hear lots of questions about gift-giving etiquette, so compiled here are some of the most popular—which I hope will help you enjoy your holiday season.
Should I bring a hostess gift to a holiday cocktail party? What would be an appropriate gift?
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Should I bring a hostess gift to a dinner party?
Is it necessary to write thank-you notes to family members?
If you’ve sincerely thanked someone in person for a gift, a thank-you note isn’t obligatory. But, it’s never wrong to write a thank-you note. If you receive gifts from friends or family that you won’t see to thank in person, write them a thank-you note—both to let them know their gift arrived and that you appreciated it. Keep thank-you notes or personalized stationery and stamps on hand to make it easy to check them off your list.
Since I'm single, my brother and his wife only give me one gift, but I buy one for each of them as well as gifts for their two children. It's a bit much for my budget. Would it be inappropriate if I gave them just one house or family gift?
I have a friend who's unemployed. I don't expect or want her to spend money on a gift for me, but should I buy a gift for her? I don't want to make her feel guilty.
Every year I get at least one party invite that asks guests to dress “festive”. What does that mean? Would it be rude to call the hostess to ask?
"Festive dress" usually means dressy with a nod to whatever holiday you are celebrating: something a little more fun than what you’d wear to work, something not quite as fancy as what you’d wear to a black tie event. Bring in the holiday element with color or something shiny or sparkly. It’s certainly fine to call the hostess and ask her intentions, too. Who knows? Maybe she’s thinking Santa hats and elf shoes. . .
For more on party attire, visit the Emily Post web site.
If you've only been dating someone a short while, how do you decide how extravagant to be with your holiday gift?
Should I give a seasonal gift to the mail carrier?
It’s a nice gesture. The U.S. Postal Service has rules about holiday gifts, though: No cash and the value of the gift can’t exceed $20. Also, be sure to enclose a thank-you note and say something like, “Thanks for all you do throughout the year.” It’s okay if you don’t know their name.
For more information on holiday gifts and tips for service providers visit the Emily Post web site.