Open Thread

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.


  1. Sheryl

    What are the rules for reciprocity as far as if we invited 2 parents and their 2 kids to a family birthday party should we, 2 parents and our 2 kids be invited to their birthday party? I think just us, the parents, are invited but not our kids. Is this insulting as far as etiquette?

    • Elizabeth

      It’s not clear from your post whether it’s a child’s or adult’s birthday party. If it’s a child’s party, it would make more sense that the kids are invited as well, but if it’s an adult’s party, they may not want a “family party” but more of an adult-oriented party. I would not feel insulted, as they may not be able or inclined to provide exactly the same kind of hospitality that you offered them. Go to the party if you’re able, or decline politely if not.

  2. Jazzgirl205

    There are different methods of reciprocity. It doesn’t even have to be a return invitation. I have entertained frequently but sometimes I have sent flowers after an event instead of a return invitation. Life, on the whole, has enough distractions that one need not imagine an insult where none was intended.

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