Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => The Ehell Guide to Never Behaving Badly => Topic started by: ginlyn32 on November 10, 2009, 10:31:31 AM

Title: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: ginlyn32 on November 10, 2009, 10:31:31 AM
DO:

*Give your guests plenty of notice if you plan on hosting dinner. This is especially true if you have people who will have to travel more than a few hours to get to your house.

*It is perfectly fine to host a potluck dinner with the hosts providing the meat and drinks.



DON'T:

*Wait until the last minute to decide that you want to host the Holiday Dinner and then be mad when everyone you invite has already made plans. Unless they are under 18 and living with you, you do not get to demand they spend Holiday with you.

*Get angry when your guests can only spend a few hours at your house. They may have other family to spend time with or their own traditions.

*If you do decide to provide the whole meal (meat, sides, drinks, dessert), DO NOT complain about the cost and time it took to prepare. This is especially true if your family has offered to bring food or host dinner themselves.


Don't be afraid to let someone else host dinner. If you know you are going to be very busy or have health problems that may prevent you from doing all you normally do, it may be best for everyone bow out for this holiday. It is NOT okay to guilt people or make them feel bad for you feeling "overwhelmed" when you were asked several times if you needed help.

Holidays are not a good time to try out a new Main Dish on your unsuspecting family. (many Americans associate Thanksgiving with Roast Turkey/Ham, stuffing and all the sides and three or four different desserts. Deviate from this with EXTREME CAUTION!)

ginlyn
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: evely28 on November 10, 2009, 11:07:35 AM

(many Americans associate Thanksgiving with Roast Turkey/Ham, stuffing and all the sides and three or four different desserts. Deviate from this with EXTREME CAUTION!)

ginlyn

I will add: Let your guests know at the time of the invitation or sometime before the RSVP "we are celebrating Thanksgiving this year with salsa and enchilada's and would love for you to join us" rather than after an RSVP in the affirmative.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Namárië on November 10, 2009, 11:26:00 AM
This is mostly Holiday Hosting Etiquette--what about guest behaviors?

Like, don't loudly complain if the host has forgotten to provide a meal that you usually expect. Even if it was done on purpose.

I can't think of any others, but I know there's plenty!  ;D

ETA: I think it's pretty rude to tell little kids that Santa isn't real. (Obviously, if you don't want to lie, you can choose to say nothing on the subject.)
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on November 10, 2009, 11:33:31 AM
Also:

If members of your family are not able or willing to follow your traditions and/or come to your celebration one year, do not assume it is a personal rejection of you, your family, your religion, or your tradition-it may just be the desire for a change, due to work requirements, or due to a change in the family structure, like a marriage, divorce, or new baby, that requires some degree of compromise.  Respect it without guilt-tripping-even if it is likely to be your last celebration of the holiday in your lifetime.

If you are going to be with persons of other religious or cultural backgrounds or traditions, respect their beliefs and traditions, don't patronize them, and don't use the occasion to proselytize or condemn them for their beliefs.

Don't make unilateral non-family plans for the holidays themselves that don't take into account the probable non-availability of others and hold them accountable for not participating.

Respect the possibility that people you expect to exchange gifts with might not be able to give gifts of the same financial value during bad economic times as in the past-including none at all.  Be prepared to graciously accept token gifts, like cards, if that's all they can afford to give and don't try to estimate their budgets or financial resources.

Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Visiting Crazy Town on November 10, 2009, 11:47:52 AM
I would also like to added

Guest
 IF you are invited do not complain that  hostess's dish  doesn't taste like your mother's dish
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: readingchick on November 10, 2009, 12:29:46 PM
If you go the potluck route, don't complain if a guest doesn't bring a dish they usually bring.

Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: high dudgeon on November 10, 2009, 12:46:21 PM
When issuing invites to a holiday celebration, do give the invitees a general rundown of the plans, before asking for their response. No matter how common and traditional you think your celebration is. Just because your family always/never watches football or serves a particular dish doesn't mean that everyone else's family does too. Let your guests know exactly what you're inviting them to, so they can make an informed decision. And graciously accept their answer, whatever it is.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Finduilas on November 10, 2009, 02:11:04 PM
If you go the potluck route, don't complain if a guest doesn't bring a dish they usually bring.



Although if you are a guest and you've been bringing a dish to the same holiday for a number of years (for example, my aunt has brought green beans with French's onion topping to Thanksgiving since before I was born), then it would be polite to let your host know if you intend to bring something new this year.  That way, if it's a dish that is generally enjoyed by all, someone else can make it.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: ginlyn32 on November 11, 2009, 08:10:28 AM
Guests:

*If your host is having a potluck dinner and you ask to bring a dish, please bring the dish you state. If the host is expecting you to bring 3 pumpkin pies and you bring a bag of chips and dip instead, well it's likely there will be no dessert.

*If you are making a pot luck dish, take into account how many guests will be present. Ask your host if you are not sure. Plan accordingly! Don't just make a four-serving package of Stove-Top stuffing for a party of 30+! (yes this has happened on DH's side of the family)

*If you are not sure you will be able to participate in the family name-draw gift exchange, then do not participate. Waiting until the last minute and then realizing that fact is not fair to the other family member who did participate.


ginlyn
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: o_gal on November 11, 2009, 11:08:08 AM
Guests:

If you are going to be more than 15 minutes late to your host's home, please contact them in some way to let them know you are going to be late and that they should start without you.

Hosts:

If your meal is going to be more than 15 to 30 minutes late, please inform your guests and provide something for them to nibble on, if possible.

Guests:

Please do not bring frozen ingredients for a dish that is not traditional for your family dinner, stay an hour in the living room playing with your relative's kids while others are setting the table in full view of you, whine and complain when the others announce that dinner is served, then play martyr cooking your dish in the kitchen when the others rightfully chose to continue without you or your dish  ::)
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Visiting Crazy Town on November 11, 2009, 12:06:31 PM

Guests:

Please do not bring frozen ingredients for a dish that is not traditional for your family dinner, stay an hour in the living room playing with your relative's kids while others are setting the table in full view of you, whine and complain when the others announce that dinner is served, then play martyr cooking your dish in the kitchen when the others rightfully chose to continue without you or your dish  ::)


I take it you know my BFF sister
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on November 11, 2009, 07:28:52 PM
One more:

Hosts: If you tell your guests to arrive by 3pm, be prepared to serve within an hour from 3pm...not at 9pm.  Keeping your guests waiting a long time to be fed is really inconsiderate of them, as is not letting them know that you don't plan to serve a full meal at mealtime.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: TylerBelle on November 12, 2009, 07:00:12 AM
This is more a general thing, and I mentioned it before in the Hosting thread, but I'd like to add again for it's near to me.

Guests (and perhaps Hosts, too, but Guests I'd think mostly)

Try to keep to pleasant and amusing topics. While everyone's sitting around, talking, munching, playing games, just basically enjoying themselves, don't bring up something from the past that wasn't very pleasant. Such as while in the midst of the group ask if everyone recalls how a couple of Christmases ago Cousin Ella accidentally ran over Uncle Bob's big toe with the car because ice was on the driveway. It was broke in three places and most of the family spent the evening in the ER and the kids were all mad because it cut into their present-opening time and now Ella's made to feel like she ruined that gathering for everyone. Goodness. I know hot button topics (politics, religion, etc.) should be tempered, but any unpleasantries should be reined in as possible, too, unless causing ill will is the goal, though hopefully not.


Guests:

*If you are not sure you will be able to participate in the family name-draw gift exchange, then do not participate. Waiting until the last minute and then realizing that fact is not fair to the other family member who did participate.


ginlyn

Yes, this. Also if a gift exchange is done at work, or church, or any group one is in. If you don't have the intention of following through after participating in the drawing, then refrain from it.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Hawkwatcher on November 12, 2009, 08:58:33 AM
Guests:

*If your host is having a potluck dinner and you ask to bring a dish, please bring the dish you state. If the host is expecting you to bring 3 pumpkin pies and you bring a bag of chips and dip instead, well it's likely there will be no dessert.


ginlyn

Guests:

One of the big problems I see with bringing chips instead 3 pies is that the guest is doing less than he or she agreed to do.  Sometimes things happen and you have to go change your plans.  If something does happen and you have to substitute another dish, make sure it is similar in quality and quantity.  For example, 3 sweet potato pies would be a better substitute for three pumpkin pies than a bag chips and dip.

If you plan to exchange gifts, keep with the spirit of the season.  Do not use gifts as an opportunity to send a passive-aggressive message.  For example:  Don't give a diet book to someone who has expressed no interest in dieting.

Hosts:

If you are having a potluck meal, assign dishes fairly.  Do not ask one guest to bring 2 complicated dishes and another guest to bring a bag of chips.

If a guest asks "Can I bring something?"  It is okay to say "yes," but make you that you request something reasonable.  Do not make the guest regret his or her offer by asking that person to bring half of the meal.

If you invite guests to come to your house from an extremely long distance, make sure to provide accommodations for them.  Do not volunteer another family member or friend to host them.


Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: blarg314 on November 13, 2009, 03:40:52 AM

- You can either enlist other people to help with the food (bring a dish, potluck) *or* have complete control over what is served and how it is prepared, not both. If you want it done exactly your way, you have to do it yourself.  (I once saw an article once that advised doing a bring-a-dish style meal and handing out recipes and detailed instructions to everyone)

- Don't take it personally. In general, I mean - a family member's decision to spend a holiday with the other side of the family or on their own, a different choice of menu, someone bringing their very favourite dish along, someone hating your very favourite dish - don't assume it's meant to insult you or cause you problems.

- Keep your expectations realistic. Your family is unlikely to be better behaved, more affectionate, fairer or emotionally closer than they are during the rest of the year.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: JoanOfArc on November 13, 2009, 01:03:16 PM
Guests:
If you ask if you can help and the host/hostess says no, accept it.  Some kitchens are just too small for large numbers of people to 'help.'

Don't volunteer to bring a dish you aren't sure you can make well.  If you burn everything you put in the oven, don't volunteer to make a pie. If you forget the sugar in baked goods, don't volunteer to bring them. 

Holidays are family time.  You don't have to love everyone in your family, but you should be able to exchange a cordial word with them.  Showing a bit of interest in their life is a good start.

Hosts:
Food is great, but have something else for guests to do, especially if there are young kids involved.  Nothing is more painful for kids than being expected to sit around all day. Set aside an area for them to play or do something.  It spares you, your other guests and the kids a great deal of headache. 


Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: ginlyn32 on November 20, 2009, 09:28:22 AM
If part of the Holiday is that games are played (card games or board games) make sure you ask everyone present if they would like to play. (on DH's side of the family there is usually card games played by the adults and kids. Phase 10 is a favorite as is Skipbo or Euchre. I've been excluded several times. Not even asked. So then I'm stuck in the family watching football...doesnt bother me but i would rather play cards!)

Make sure you have something for the kids to do. A couple of board games and maybe an extra TV with a DVD player would be great. You could even rent a couple of Holiday movies for the kids to watch!

If you are a guest, make sure you offer to help the host clean up the kitchen. I've hosted Thanksgiving for years and it's getting to the point where I resent it because I do ALL the work, before and after. I end up being exhausted and not enjoying my family as much.

Hosts, make it easy on yourselves and get paper plates, napkins and plasticwear for eating and drinking. That way all you have to do is clean the big pots and pans.

Finally, make sure the place where you plan on hosting your Holiday get-together is large enough to hold everyone. Don't try to cram 30+ people into a small 2 bedroom home. It's going to be cramped with everyone getting in everyone's way.

ginlyn
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Emmy on November 21, 2009, 12:22:46 PM
Guests with kids:  If you host doesn't have kids or has kids of different ages, bring things for your kids to do.  A couple without children isn't likely to have a lot of things that young kids can do in their home.

Guests, if you are really late (like 2 or 3 hours), don't be surprised or upset that everyone decided to go ahead and eat.  If you are running late, it is always polite to call, but don't expect everybody else to put off eating dinner for a long time to wait.

Hosts: If you are doing the adult/kid table thing (which is sometimes necessary due to space issues), make sure you don't stick a lone teenager at the table with the very young kids.  Ditto if teenager is expected to babysit the little kids.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on November 21, 2009, 12:31:16 PM
Hosts: If you are doing the adult/kid table thing (which is sometimes necessary due to space issues), make sure you don't stick a lone teenager at the table with the very young kids.  Ditto if teenager is expected to babysit the little kids.

Don't do this with single adults either.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: L.A. Lady on November 21, 2009, 01:02:33 PM
Hosts: If you are doing the adult/kid table thing (which is sometimes necessary due to space issues), make sure you don't stick a lone teenager at the table with the very young kids.  Ditto if teenager is expected to babysit the little kids.

Don't do this with single adults either.

POD to both of you!
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Shoo on November 21, 2009, 01:08:20 PM
If it is traditional (and expected) to take some of the leftovers home with you when you have dinner at someone else's house, please take your own tupperware.  

Oh, and if you aren't absolutely sure you will be offered leftovers, don't just show up with tupperware in hand.  At least leave it in your car until you know you are welcome to take food home with you.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on November 21, 2009, 01:12:28 PM
To hosts: Please don't push leftovers on a guest after they've already declined-especially if they're traveling long-distance.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: claddagh lass on November 21, 2009, 08:54:56 PM
Guests:  If you are going to be late please call.

Do not try to pick fights with other guests or try to alienate because you're bored or you think it's funny.

Do not make snide remarks about a person who's attitude or being you do not care for.  This could very well get back to the person or someone they care about.

Hosts:  If your guests are starving don't force them wait even longer or forbid them from having a small snack until such and such a guest arrives.

This could also very well apply to the opening of Christmas presents.

All of the above have happened in my family during the holidays.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: TiredMum on November 22, 2009, 12:02:56 AM
Guests

- Do not arrive an hour early (after being told to arrive at the correct time) and act surprised that it's not ready.

- Do not invite additional family members & just inform the host of it.  Don't yell at the host when she brings this up as an issue later on.
You are not the victim here.

Other guests
- It does nothing for the hosts peace of mind to hear that you don't like the additional family members.

Cats
- Do not *trim/eat* the Xmas tree & sick it up MULTIPLE TIMES, please don't do this in front of the guests.

Kids
- Do not hit the glass ornaments which WERE out of reach with the new light sabre, please tell an adult about the broken glass.


Note to self:  plan to run away to Antarctica next year
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: claddagh lass on November 22, 2009, 01:47:49 PM
Cats
- Do not *trim/eat* the Xmas tree & sick it up MULTIPLE TIMES, please don't do this in front of the guests.

They should also refrain from drinking the water that's meant for the Christmas tree.  Especially if someone has spiked the water with Vodka or other types of alcohol which is rumored to keep the tree greener longer. 

Note:  It doesn't work and we had a very drunk cat on our hands.

Note to self:  plan to run away to Antarctica next year

Take me with you!   ;)
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Black Delphinium on November 22, 2009, 01:55:15 PM
-While it is fun to be festive and jolly, just because it's the holidays doesn't making singing at the top of your lungs(or even at the not-so-top of your lungs) in public okay. Even if you have the pipes of a new Sarah Brightman, not everyone wants to hear your rendition of "O Holy Night" or "Deck the Halls".

-Bell Ringers are people too. Just because you don't have to acknowledge them doesn't give you the right to push past them like they aren't there. Conversely, if you are a bell ringer or charity collector, be mindful of leaving enough space for regular foot traffic.

-If your holiday checkout person at the store seems less chatty than normal, it's mostly likely due to needing to keep the lines moving. Yes, it's nice to talk about holiday plans, but high customer traffic makes speed necessary.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on November 22, 2009, 05:38:56 PM
Carolers: Find out in advance if the homeowners you are caroling is open to that, and if their neighborhood will allow it.  Not everyone has the holiday spirit-and it doesn't justify making a captive audience of people who do not consent to having you carol.

For those who hang out light displays and decorations, be careful not to cross boundaries onto the properties of your neighbors without their permission, and if local authorities/HOAs etc. don't permit or restrict when these can be displayed, respect those rulings.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Auntie Mame on November 24, 2009, 01:34:32 PM
Not everyone loves the holidays.  There are many, many reasons people may dread the holidays or just not care.  There are also many, many reasons why people love this time of year.

That said:

Holiday lovers: Don't force your Holiday cheer on people who aren't as enthusiastic.  Don't try to berate or pester them into a better mood.  Trust me, that doesn't work.  Do not call them "Scrooge" or anything else derogatory just because they aren't as excited as you are.  If someone isn't into the Holidays, leave them alone and talk about something. 

Non-Holiday Lovers: Do not piddle all over someone's good cheer.  Do not insult them, or the way they choose to celebrate (for example, if someone loves to decorate).  Do not rant on and on about how much you hate this time year.  Hate on it all you want, but let others have their fun.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: cicero on November 25, 2009, 04:56:55 AM
guests and hosts:

mistakes happen. problem arise. s*it hits the fan.

when *things* go wrong, don't get hysterical, don't start fighting or sniping or generally making everyone else feel uncomfortable. tensions are high, we sometimes have to be somewhere that we really don't want to be but adding more tension to that just makes things worse.

have back up plans. learn to smile. decide that people (at least some of them) are more important than things. so when your new step mother arrives at your house before the passover seder without the paper goods that she insisted on buying "to make it easier for you", because she forgot them at home --- just smile, pull out your "emergency stock" and pretend it never happened. or when said new step mother pulls out the pot of fish she insisted on making "to make it easier for you" and you realize that (a) there isn't enough there and (b) it looked icky and didn't taste that good, pull out your "emergency cans" and quickly throw together some alternative. (yes, that all happened before I grew a backbone and learned to say - and mean - *no thank you*)
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: ginlyn32 on December 05, 2009, 08:56:25 PM
This is probably basic hosting etiquette but I'm putting it here...

Hosts:

*If you have inside animals that shed, please at least vacuum once or twice and vacuum off the furniture. Don't just leave cat/dog hair all over everything. My son is allergic to cats and he had to sleep on a futon that was COVERED in cat hair. that's just....gross, for lack of a better word.

*also CLEAN YOU LITTER BOX OUT! Sorry for shouting but your cat box REAKED of cat pee! I almost wanted to leave because of it. It was just gross.

I realize that people with animals are used to the animal smell around their house. We do not have animals in our house so we are not used to the smell. I feel like if you have cats or other animals that use the bathroom in your home, then you need to maintain the animal's bathroom better. I just could not believe how much cat hair and over-all smell there was.  My poor son could hardly breathe.
It's a good thing we brought our own Benedryl.

ginlyn
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Shoo on December 06, 2009, 11:11:01 PM
This is probably basic hosting etiquette but I'm putting it here...

Hosts:

*If you have inside animals that shed, please at least vacuum once or twice and vacuum off the furniture. Don't just leave cat/dog hair all over everything. My son is allergic to cats and he had to sleep on a futon that was COVERED in cat hair. that's just....gross, for lack of a better word.

*also CLEAN YOU LITTER BOX OUT! Sorry for shouting but your cat box REAKED of cat pee! I almost wanted to leave because of it. It was just gross.

I realize that people with animals are used to the animal smell around their house. We do not have animals in our house so we are not used to the smell. I feel like if you have cats or other animals that use the bathroom in your home, then you need to maintain the animal's bathroom better. I just could not believe how much cat hair and over-all smell there was.  My poor son could hardly breathe.
It's a good thing we brought our own Benedryl.

ginlyn

Oh my goodness, that is just gross!

My dog and my cat are the main reason I bought leather furniture.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: sparklestar on December 13, 2009, 11:28:06 AM
I'm sure a couple of these have already been mentioned but it's worth mentioning again:

1) Everyone is very welcome (and I'm including all family and friends in this) - but I need the numbers by 15th Dec so we have enough food/cutlery.  You do not get the right to veto the guest list. They are welcome, you can choose not to attend if you don't agree with this policy.
2) No one in the kitchen unless specifically invited.
3) Guests - while I will try hard to accommodate allergy sufferers by vaccuuming diligently and restricting the areas they are in, bear in mind this is our animals home - I can't lock them in crates all day - you need to dope yourself up or decline. 
4) Guests - if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
5) Chairs are mutiple but some are admittedly comfier than others.  The most needy person should get preference, and this doesn't necessarily mean eldest first.  Likewise, the conversation should not be monopolised by one one generation - find something of common interest to talk about, even if it is the weather.
6) Please go home.  Seriously, I agreed to providing ONE meal, not a meal + afternoon tea + supper etc. 
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: FoxPaws on December 13, 2009, 12:07:29 PM
- If you don't actually enjoy hosting, don't do it. Seriously, if entertaining leaves you a stressed out wreck and screaming at your spouse and children moments before the guests arrive, let someone else do it. (My sister and I forever grateful that our mother finally "retired" the annual Christmas brunch.)

- That goes for any other aspect of the holiday as well. And don't be afraid to "remodel" customs or traditions that no longer fit your circumstances. They became traditions because people enjoyed them; when the joy goes, it's time to find something else.

- Be respectful of those who choose not to participate in toy drives, secret Santa, giving trees, etc. You don't know what someone else's financial situation is, or how many other projects they've been asked to support.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: ginlyn32 on December 13, 2009, 08:44:49 PM
I'm sure a couple of these have already been mentioned but it's worth mentioning again:

1) Everyone is very welcome (and I'm including all family and friends in this) - but I need the numbers by 15th Dec so we have enough food/cutlery.  You do not get the right to veto the guest list. They are welcome, you can choose not to attend if you don't agree with this policy.
2) No one in the kitchen unless specifically invited.
3) Guests - while I will try hard to accommodate allergy sufferers by vaccuuming diligently and restricting the areas they are in, bear in mind this is our animals home - I can't lock them in crates all day - you need to dope yourself up or decline. 
4) Guests - if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
5) Chairs are mutiple but some are admittedly comfier than others.  The most needy person should get preference, and this doesn't necessarily mean eldest first.  Likewise, the conversation should not be monopolised by one one generation - find something of common interest to talk about, even if it is the weather.
6) Please go home.  Seriously, I agreed to providing ONE meal, not a meal + afternoon tea + supper etc. 


I applaud anyone with pets who diligently clean/vacuum before guests arrive. My point was not to let your furniture/curtains/carpets become covered with pet hair to the point where your guests cannot even breath! MIL's furniture was literally covered in pet hair. As I said in my previous post, the futon where my allergic son was sleeping was also covered in cat hair and I am doubtful that the cover was even washed or vacuumed. It was just nasty.

ginlyn
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: sparklestar on December 14, 2009, 02:27:18 AM
Ginlyn - that sounds yucky! But I'm curious - given that you were staying there and presumeably didn't expect the animals to be locked away all the time, what would have been reasonable? I'll generally keep the room the guest is sleeping in pet free, and separate pet + guest in other rooms, but I wouldn't lock the pet away all weekend.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: ginlyn32 on December 14, 2009, 07:52:57 AM
Ginlyn - that sounds yucky! But I'm curious - given that you were staying there and presumeably didn't expect the animals to be locked away all the time, what would have been reasonable? I'll generally keep the room the guest is sleeping in pet free, and separate pet + guest in other rooms, but I wouldn't lock the pet away all weekend.

Well, for me it would be if you noticed that your carpet/furniture was just covered (not just normal dirty but COATED in cat/animal hair) then please clean it well before your guests arrive.

If the area that your guests are sleeping is in a public area, then at least cover the couch or futon in a clean sheet that can be removed before bedtime. That will help keep the animal hair down.

ginlyn
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Becca on December 15, 2009, 10:47:32 PM
-If you're visiting friends or family, don't monopolize one particular member of the household and leave everyone else out.

-If you're visiting a family that has a much-loved dog, don't visit all day and demand that the dog be crated/confined to another room with one person for the entire time.  If you're allergic, that's one thing, but if you just "don't like dogs," that's another.

-If the family normally does a "round robin" gift opening, don't snatch gifts out of other people's hands so you can see what they are, before THEY even have a chance to, and then blame them for being "selfish" for not showing you right away.  This goes double if those people are children.

-If the children of the family show appreciation for gifts other people have given them, this doesn't automatically mean that they're "ungrateful" about your gift to them.  Also, bear in mind that, to a five-year-old, a ten-dollar plastic sled is going to look more appealing than a $25 cheque, despite the discrepancy in monetary value--to a young child, a cheque is just a piece of paper with writing on it.

-If you particularly dislike a certain member of the household, either decline the invitation, or be nice to that person anyway.  After all, much as you dislike this person, he or she invited you over for Christmas anyway, so that counts for something.

-If you're a member of the "host family," don't insist on inviting a toxic person over for Christmas just because "they're faaaaamily!!!"  I know it sounds heartless, but sharing DNA doesn't give you a free pass to treat people badly.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Miss Bee on April 12, 2010, 12:38:38 PM
If you're invited for Thanksgiving dinner (or any other holiday dinner) and the table is set already with the good china, it is still NOT acceptable to go ahead and sit down and start eating while the host and hostess are still bringing the food to the table.  Please do not ask for salt and pepper, and why there are no mashed potatoes,  before the turkey is even carved, the blessing/toast is given by the host, and before the hosts have even sat down themselves.  Furthermore, do not load up on second helpings as the host and hostess are just sitting down to their first helping.  And, please never mind the open-jawed, shocked expression on the host couple's faces.  

Yes, this scenario actually happened to us.  No, we never invited them for another formal dinner again.  
They also brought a frozen dinner to microwave for their 7 yr.old son because he did not like ANYTHING we were serving, not even the pumpkin pie.  (My then 7 yr. old daughter ate what was served.  She offered to eat son's piece of pumpkin pie.  :) )    

We did make the mistake of later inviting them for a potluck at our house on Super Bowl Sunday.  The husband hoarded all of the cheese and ate most of it, and loudly criticized another person's layered bean dip, loudly proclaiming it to be bland.   We don't socialize with them much anymore.  
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: gellchom on May 24, 2010, 12:25:18 AM

Holiday lovers: Don't force your Holiday cheer on people who aren't as enthusiastic.  Don't try to berate or pester them into a better mood.  Trust me, that doesn't work.  Do not call them "Scrooge" or anything else derogatory just because they aren't as excited as you are.  If someone isn't into the Holidays, leave them alone and talk about something. 

As an extension of this: please remember that not everyone shares your religious holiday.  This can be very trying for non-Christians at Christmas time.  Please do not say things like "But Christmas is for everyone!" or "Most normal people celebrate Christmas."  Do not call Christmas or Christmas/New Year "THE holidays."  Do not insist that whatever holiday other people celebrate in December is their most important holiday; if you really want to recognize other people's important holidays, find out what and when they are, don't just nod to some minor holiday (e.g. Chanuka) that happens to be in December in order to try to make Christmastime the universal holiday season.

DO invite your friends of other religions to be guests at your celebrations, if appropriate.  Do NOT pretend that it is their holiday, too, and certainly do not pressure them to engage in any rituals.  Guests, of course: do NOT criticize or analyze your hosts' religious practices or beliefs or say anything that might make them feel they have to defend their beliefs or practices.

You may not realize how careful non-Christian parents are to warn their children not to blab about Santa to your children.  Please return the favor by not making statements like "Santa brings toys to all the good boys and girls."  You aren't intending to be cruel, but please consider the effect upon children who do not receive gifts at Christmas -- including not only non-Christian children, but also poor ones. 
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on May 25, 2010, 09:50:58 AM
Hosts:

*Please try to keep your animals under control. I really do not appreciate your dog sticking his nose in between my legs while I'm eating dinner or jumping on top of me every time I grab something to eat.

*Don't tell your guests that they can't sit on a piece of furniture because it is the dog or cat's seat.

Guests:

*Please realize what your children are physically capable of eating. It's not fair to the host/other guests if you give your 3 year old four shish kabobs and then throw 3 3/4 of the shish kabobs away.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Black Delphinium on May 25, 2010, 01:42:03 PM
*Don't tell your guests that they can't sit on a piece of furniture because it is the dog or cat's seat.
That isn't fair, Mopsy. If a person has a particular piece of furniture they have allocated as "Fluffy's Bean Bag" or "Rex's Chair", that is their decision and the polite thing to do is respect that in their house, that is the way things are.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Finduilas on May 25, 2010, 01:58:38 PM
Also, their statement might not necessarily be an admonishment but a warning-- frequently the chairs reserved for dogs or cats can be covered in fur if people never sit in them...
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: mechtilde on May 25, 2010, 02:35:39 PM
*Don't tell your guests that they can't sit on a piece of furniture because it is the dog or cat's seat.
That isn't fair, Mopsy. If a person has a particular piece of furniture they have allocated as "Fluffy's Bean Bag" or "Rex's Chair", that is their decision and the polite thing to do is respect that in their house, that is the way things are.

I'm not sure that it is polite to ask someone not to sit on a particular seat, unless there is a specific reason not to (eg Great Aunt May needs the one with the high seat, 150 year old chair is a bit fragile and is better suited to a small child's weight etc)

Being told "Don't sit in that one it is Billy's chair/the cat's chair/the dog's chair" just doesn't seem very welcoming. If it is covered in fluff then make sure you clean it up before the guests get there.

Of course if you ever come to our house and want to sit on the cat's chair then feel free to do so*, although I can't promise that he won't glare at you if you do.


*Please note that he has claimed the largest and most comfortable one.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on May 25, 2010, 06:27:40 PM
*Don't tell your guests that they can't sit on a piece of furniture because it is the dog or cat's seat.
That isn't fair, Mopsy. If a person has a particular piece of furniture they have allocated as "Fluffy's Bean Bag" or "Rex's Chair", that is their decision and the polite thing to do is respect that in their house, that is the way things are.
I'm not talking about bean bags. I'm talking about a love seat or the couch--places where other people have sat on before and are expected to sit.

Example: I was over my aunt and uncle's house. There were about 7 guests there. Aunt and Uncle had the couch (about 3 spaces), and a few seats. There would have been enough seats for people, except Uncle said that the couch was Fido's couch and no one could sit on it in case Fido wanted to sit there. Aunt came in from the kitchen and her husband not to be ridiculous. We were entertaining people, not the dog.
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: supernova on May 26, 2010, 01:18:57 PM

Guests:
If you ask if you can help and the host/hostess says no, accept it.  Some kitchens are just too small for large numbers of people to 'help.'


Amen!  And the corollary to this one:

Host:
If the guests ask more than once if they can help, and you say no, it curtails your right to huff, sigh, roll your eyes, and moan about how much work all this is and how no one is lifting a finger to help you.   ::)


1) Everyone is very welcome (and I'm including all family and friends in this) - but I need the numbers by 15th Dec so we have enough food/cutlery.  You do not get the right to veto the guest list. They are welcome, you can choose not to attend if you don't agree with this policy.


And if you're going to change my numbers, please call.  Don't decide not to show up because you realized that by the time you finished making your promised contribution, you'd be 15 minutes late...  and then fail to call...  leaving me holding the meal for an hour waiting for you, worrying about you, *and* not having your promised dish...   ::)
Title: Re: Holiday Etiquette
Post by: Lady Snowdon on May 28, 2010, 04:22:35 PM
Hosts, if you are asking for contributions, be specific.  "Green bean casserole for 30" is better than "Pie".  If you choose not to be specific, or not to clarify, then you have no right to get upset when somebody doesn't show up with what you were expecting.  If you have expectations, those need to be clear.

Of course, that last sentence applies to guests as well.  If it's just not Thanksgiving/New Year's/Christmas without x y or z, please let your host know (nicely of course, not in a demanding way).  They may be able to incorporate it or let you know that won't be possible, so you can decide if you want to attend.