Etiquette During the Holidays


We all know that the joy of the holiday season also brings with it high stress and plenty of anxiety-ridden moments. In times of holiday panic, we seem to see a trend where some people have forgotten basic common courtesy and etiquette. Emily Post would be shocked at some of the current behaviors. Even if manners, such as holding a door open for a lady or pulling back a chair, are considered old-fashioned and outdated, we shouldn’t forget about being polite, well-mannered human beings—especially during a season where we should be spreading cheer, not sneers. Not everyone becomes overwhelmed, but we all could use a reminder.

Look into my eyes
We’re so used to gazing at our screens. But when you’re actually talking to people in person, look them straight in the eyes.

Tell people you’ll be late
If you’re running late, call or text. Don’t leave people guessing.

Stay home when you’re sick
Some things, like your cold, should not be shared.

Remember your table manners
Napkin on your lap. No elbows on the table. Chew with your mouth closed.

Dress for the occasion
Know how to dress it up for the country club, dress modestly for a funeral, and show taste and effort for other occasions. Also, please wear something besides leggings sometimes.

Be patient in a parking lot
Don’t be rude—let cars pull out instead of going around them. Everyone’s time is valuable.

Hold the door for the person behind you
And if someone holds the door for you, always say thank you!

Keep the noise down at work
Silence the ringer on your smartphone, speak quietly, and turn the sound down on your dinging text so it’s not bugging everyone in the other cubicles. And don’t talk on the speaker phone ever at work!

Return phone calls and texts promptly
We all get dozens of wanted and unwanted texts, calls, and emails each day. Some of those actually rate responses. Answer within a day or so, whenever possible.

Agree to disagree
Politics and religion aren’t the only hot topics these days. We may find ourselves in disagreements about just about everything, from chores to who should have won America’s Got Talent. Pick your battles. Most of them aren’t worth fighting over anyway.

Don’t push your agenda on others
Many of us hold strong opinions about just about everything. That doesn’t mean friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and even family members share the same stance. Respect peoples’ backgrounds and boundaries and keep your personal agenda to yourself.

Just hear “no”
It’s okay to say “no.” It’s also important to really hear it when it’s coming from someone else. At least “no thanks” contains a “thank you.” Thank others by respecting their decisions.

What’s in a name?
While curse words may flow trippingly off your tongue, they might actually upset others. Read the room and speak accordingly.

Wipe down the exercise machine
If you’ve started to exercise again in a health club, congratulations! Just remember to wipe off the mats and machines. Now, more than ever, it’s important to maintain good hygiene and consideration for others.

Don’t drive angry
We’ve all been there—angry at the wheel. Whether you began your day angry, or it’s just the stress of the latest traffic jam, try to keep anger and frustration to yourself as much as possible and make the world—and streets—a happier place.

Say “please”
Common courtesy includes such wellworn phrases as “please” and “thank you.” Add a smile and really make someone’s day.

Knock before entering
’nough said.

Eat crow
Vegetarians and meat eaters alike need to eat crow once in a while and admit that we all make mistakes.

Don’t play the blame game
Rather than passing the buck, let the buck stop here. None of us are perfect, so why pretend something is someone else’s fault? It usually all gets sorted out anyway. It’s so much better to take responsibility sooner rather than later.

Ask before posting, if possible
While I doubt your dog or cat will mind, when posting a group shot or video of another person, it’s polite to ask first if it’s okay.

Use your turn signal
Why, especially in L.A., do drivers often forgo turn signals? Is it because there are so many self-proclaimed psychics riding around that we think they might already know? Do it anyway.

Wait until everyone is served
Unless you’re having a low-blood-sugar attack, wait to take that first bite until everybody in your party is served.

Praise others
If someone does a great job or simply helps you in some way, be generous with your praise. This includes praise to wait staff, delivery personnel, and especially those closest to you.