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. Lily

    A flu last week forced me to take sick leave and postpone all my appointments to this week- one of which is an important lunch (that can’t be postponed further). This being formal, I also expect some amount of inevitable coughing (and perhaps even using an inhaler in case of a temporary asthma fit). Coughing/asthma fits verges on involuntary, so a polite exit to the loo is not a feasible option. Any tips on how to deal with this at the table?

    • Jody

      Lily, I have those occasional coughing fits after a cold or bout with the flu. My solution is to put my napkin over my mouth and promptly leave the table — even if it’s only to stand in a corner of the room or escape to the hallway. On returning to the table I say “excuse me” and continue with what I had been doing. It’s obvious why I had to leave the table and most people are understanding.

  2. Beverly Schlein

    I am hosting a baby shower next month and someone suggested the unwrapped gift trend, i.e. request gifts nor be wrapped. I disagree with this and feel it is rude. The shower is a 2-hour come and go type shower at the church. Is this proper etiquette to ask guests to not wrap the gift? I am older so maybe not quite up on trends, but just because it is a trend does not make it proper etiquette. The mother to be had never heard of it but says she is okay, however does have concerns that some of the older guests would feel offended to do this unwrapped gift thing. Please help!

    • Alicia

      It is not really a trend it is simply rude and signals to guests that the guest of honor does not vanule them even enough to take the two seconds to unwrap a gift. Bad idea dont do it go with your gut that it is not a good idea.

    • David

      This trend sounds absolutely ridiculous. It obviously stems from laziness, cheapness, or a desire of the giver to show-off what they brought. Maybe you could leave any food or beverages you serve in their original containers to balance the trend (?).
      I suggest wrapping gifts like an adult.

      • Elizabeth

        I would never suggest or host an “unwrapped” shower, but as someone concerned with waste and the environment, I have to say it appeals to me because it eliminates so much unneeded waste and trash. I never feel good seeing multiple trashbags filled up with wrapping paper. This kind of sentiment could have been behind the suggestion, rather than laziness or cheapness.

        • Vanna Keiler

          Hi Beverly. I agree with Alicia and David. I would imagine ANY instructions on gift-giving to be unacceptable, generally-speaking. Eluding to the trash/environmental issue, there are plenty of ways gift-givers could, at their own initiative, honor their dedication to the environment discreetly, but to dictate or suggest someone to do this may be off-putting and inconvenient for them, thus in my opinion “poor social etiquette”. Choosing recycled wrapping or 100% biodegradable gifts and wrapping; presenting the gift in a reusable gift bag (avoid writing on the label or add your own), and so on are ways one could offer a gift AND help save the environment.

  3. Bill

    Our reception is at a different location than the ceremony. In the invitation we say “Reception to follow”. Is it necessary to include the name and location of the reception as part of the formal invitation?

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      When the reception is at a different location, you do not say “reception to follow” as that implies the reception is immediately after the ceremony. Instead include a separate reception card with all the information about the reception including the location and what time it starts.

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