From the category archives:


FHB and the “No Thank You” Portion

by Cindy Post Senning on December 6, 2011

This post originally appeared at my parenting blog The Gift of Good Manners. I will be cross posting some of my favorite content from that blog here at the Etiquette Daily periodically. I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I enjoyed writing them. While celebrating Thanksgiving two weeks ago someone asked what to […]

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Setting Study: Placement on the table

by epi on December 5, 2011

Q: I am having a dinner party and am trying to find out the proper placement of my china, silver, and crystal. A: Dinner plate:  This is the “hub of the wheel” and usually the first thing to be on the table. Two forks:  The forks are placed to the left of the plate.  The […]


Q: We’ve been invited to several holiday parties this year.  Is it okay to “double-book”? A: This is one of those times when it’s fine to double-book and go from one holiday party to another.  The casual, drop-in nature of most holiday parties makes this okay.  Just be sure you do each event justice — […]


Q:We are invited to a holiday party. The invitations were sent out by email.  In the invitation/email , it states that the couple hosting the party would like all guests to bring specific items – such as specific food – and all liquor. They even state that the liquor and food are to picked up […]


Thanksgiving Troubles: Complaining relative

by epi on November 24, 2011

Q: Every year, my mother-in-law insists on planning the entire Thanksgiving meal- and then complains about the workload.  Should I stay out of the way or continue to offer my help? A: You have two good options: One is: Sit back, praise away- “You’ve outdone yourself again!”- and send a handwritten thank-you note afterward.  Or, […]


Q: You invite a friend to join your for Thanksgiving.  She accepts but doesn’t offer to bring anything.  Do you ask her to contribute? A: Yes.  Families celebrate in different ways and your friend might not be used to potluck.  But if that’s your style, just let her know.  Request something general, like an appetizer, […]


Q: My brother’s new girlfriend is loud, tells off-color jokes- and is coming to our Thanksgiving dinner this year.  What’s the best way to handle her? A: Chat with your brother ahead of time.  Say, “I’m happy you and Lisa are coming for Thanksgiving, but can you talk to her about toning down the jokes?  […]

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Q: We’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner for a slew of our out-of-town relatives.  Is it OK to ask some to stay at a hotel? A: Preparing a Thanksgiving feast is a major enough undertaking without adding a gaggle of overnight guests.  If you wish, and your situation permits, you can invite relatives from farther away to […]


Delayed Diners: Confused or rude?

by epi on November 11, 2011

Q: I hosted a small dinner for friends. One of the couples was 2 hours late and said nothing about it (no apology, etc). I said nothing and still have not mentioned it to them. Should I have said or done anything about their tardiness? A: It may be that they got the time wrong, […]

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Dinner Dough: When a friend can’t pay up

by epi on November 4, 2011

Q: My neighbor came over for takeout pizza, but she didn’t have cash to help pay for it.  Do I ask her to pay me back? A: Yes, if dutch treat was the plan.  First, give her a chance to make amends.  If she continues to “forget,” there’s not much you can do, so ask […]