5 Day Manners Makeover for the Holidays

by Cindy Post Senning on November 23, 2009

The holidays are coming! Decorations are popping up everywhere. Holiday music is playing in stores. People are planning turkey dinners. Families will be traveling to visit families. Parents may be stressing. And kids are beside themselves with excitement.

Parents ask me, “What can we do? The kids are wild, and we’ve left table manners by the wayside. Is it too late?”  No, it’s not too late to spruce up the manners you want your children to know before the craziness sets in. You can help them by sharing a five-day manners makeover before Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Each of the following posts I’ll suggest a “spruce up the manners” lesson.

Day 1: Table Manners

Day 2: Table Conversation

Day 3: Gifts You Don’t Wrap

Day 4: Greetings and Handshakes

Day 5: Giving and Receiving Gifts

No more than one hour a day. Make it fun. And talk with your kids about manners. Ask them why manners are important and which ones they think make the most sense. Help them understand this isn’t about “rules,” it’s really about how we get along with each other. The goal is to make this a positive experience and then to enjoy the holidays!

See you below.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Diana Diaz August 18, 2011 at 9:49 pm


I Have a further question about handshakes. Now that women are expected to shake hands, I find myselfi n many awkward situations, particularly when meeting people at dinners and barbeques.

When is it appropriate to shake hands? I often find myself meeting someone new with a plate of food in one hand, a drink in the other hand, and no place to set either down. It is just me, or are people being overly-insistent?

Also, I have a shoulder injury, how do I politely decline shaking hands?

Sincere thanks.


Diana Diaz August 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Also, for some reason, people are so insistent about shaking hands, some are even reaching across tables, over other people, and across your plates even while seated. What is actually correct? People seem to be getting a bit weird about this business of shaking hands.


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