Showing posts from December, 2009

Gift Giving 101

I answer etiquette questions on a couple of web sites. From time to time we receive questions about gifts, usually from people wanting to know how to tell their guests what to give them, but occasionally from people confused about gift giving in general. Take a look at a few recent questions (grammar and spelling are exactly as the question was submitted):

“How do we ask for no gifts because we have a small house but instead for people to bring cards and insert money into them to help us on our 2nd honeymoon cruise?”

“How much money should be given by a couple attending a Saturday evening wedding reception?”

“I have a question about a couple who eloped and after the elopement registered for gifts and had a bridal shower. Now almost two years later they are having a ceremony in the Catholic Church with a reception. They want money now from the same people who gave them wedding gifts after the elopement. Would like to know what is right.”

“My best friend was invited to my daughter’s w…

Christmas at the White House

Do you get stressed just planning one or two holiday events for family and friends? Then, be glad you don't work at the White House. According to staffers, preparing for a White House Christmas "is the single most mentally and physically challenging thing you can do." Preparations begin several months in advance. It is common for staff members to work 80 to 100 hours per week baking, cleaning, setting up, tearing down, decorating, redecorating, and attending to all the other tasks aassociated with a large party.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas President and Mrs. Obama will host 28 parties and receptions attended by as many as 50,000 people. Many of the events will occur during the week, leaving weekends free to spend with their daughters. The first family will send approximately 200,000 Christmas and Hanukkah cards.

One feature of the decorations is a gingerbread house, but not your ordinary gingerbread house. The "official" one weighs 390 pounds. A band s…

Planning a New Year's Eve Party?

Are you thinking of having a New Year's Eve party? There's still time to invite family and friends to a casual get-together, though you may need to have it at your home, since most facilities are already booked.

A casual party might include deli trays from your favorite grocery store or Costco. Just be sure to order them ahead. Costco has tasty desserts or you might order pies from Marie Callender's or pick up cookies or brownies at your grocer's or from Pastry Perfection. Or, you can order take-out from your favorite restaurant.

Be careful about serving too much alcohol; perhaps a champagne or sparkling cider toast at midnight would be sufficient. You don't want your family and friends to greet the new year with a trip to the poky and you can be certain the police will be out in force.

If you serve only a small amount of food, you may not need seating for everyone. If you want seating, ask family members to bring folding chairs. Alternatively, you may still be abl…