February 23rd, 2012
Watch the hostess.
She is the one to begin everything.
The Hostess begins everything. Don’t place your napkin in your lap until the hostess has done so. Don’t touch your silverware or drink or anything until she has done so. The hostess leads the way.
October 18th, 2011
Phones make it easy to keep up on friends and family. Today many have their own cell phones. The house-family phone is seldom used by all the family. However there is etiquette we need to understand about what is proper regarding phones and taking messages.
The rules for the phone are usually established by the parents. However a general rule-of-thumb is:
- Be polite when you answer the phone.
- Smile – your smile comes through your voice. Some families put a large sign beside the phone that says, “Smile.”
- Be considerate when using the phone and don’t talk too long in case someone else needs to make a call.
- Remember to say thank you when you hang up.
- Find out who is calling. Ask, “May I tell her who is calling?” Or, “Who’s calling please?”
- Don’t yell to tell someone the phone is for them. Say to the caller, “Just a minute,” then go to the person and tell them they have a phone call.
- If you don’t know the caller or they called you by mistake never give your name and number to them. Simply say, “You have reached the wrong number.”
When taking a message:
- Some families have a spiral notebook beside the phone to jot down messages. Write the date and the name of the caller and if there is a specific message. Don’t be shy about asking over and over for them to spell their name or repeat the number. Better to be a little embarrassed then than later.
- When you leave a message on someone else’s answering machine, speak clearly and repeat your name and number.
Did you know your cell phone NEVER belongs on the table?
Turn your cell phone down or off when visiting with a friend. Be polite and consider how others feel when you spend your visiting time talking to some one else.
If you are expecting a call that is important, tell your friend and say that you will need to answer it. But otherwise don’t cheat your friends special visit time with talking to someone else.
Gracious Girls put the needs of others first.
October 18th, 2011
Sleepovers can be fun however they can be tricky too. Sleepovers need to be considered carefully before one chooses to attend. Consider:
- Do you know the family?
- Do you know what the hostess is planning ?
- Do you know who will be home?
- Do you know if the party will be up all night? No sleep!
Some questions you can ask are:
- What will we be doing (movie or activities – if it is a movie – what is the title and how is it rated)?
- Will your parents be there? Which one/ones? Will she/he be up all evening with the guest?
- What will we have for food?
- May I bring something for snacking?
- Do I need to bring a sleeping bag?
If you choose to attend:
- Do take your own personal bathroom needs.
- Take a bag for dirty clothes so they can be kept separate from the clean clothes.
- Keep personal items in one place, perhaps a corner of the room. Shoes, socks, underwear, brush all stay in one spot. Makes it easy to clean up and makes taking all your items home a little easier.
- Help to clean up.
- Do not go home crabby. If you find you are crabby (due to lack of sleep) confess you are tired and not kind to be around and ask if you can take a nap. Don’t treat your family bad just because you are tired.
*Be careful ladies. Sleepovers can be a challenge for you in standing firm in your values and beliefs. A Gracious Girl is a woman of integrity, a very special china teacup. Think carefully before responding to the invitation.
October 18th, 2011
Do you know someone different than yourself? Do you strive to get along with everyone? It is helpful to understand ourselves which will allow us to understand others and meet their needs better.
There are four different basic personalities which we simply call:
Number 1 is Playful. She has an appealing personality, is talkative, a story teller and the life of the party. She has a good sense of humor and loves color. Usually her clothing will be bright and colorful. She is enthusiastic and expressive, cheerful and bubbling over with fun. She is curious and likes to be on stage. She likes attention. Her motto is, “Life must be fun.”
However she needs to practice self-control and self-discipline and let others tell their stories.
Number 2 is a Responsible Leader. She is dynamic and active. She enters the room – in charge, is compulsive and needs change. She is not very interested the style or color of clothing, only that it is functional. She has to make things right. She is strong-willed, decisive and unemotional, not easily discouraged, tends to be independent and self-sufficient. She exudes confidence and can run anything. Her motto is, “Just get the job done.”
However she needs to practice good listening skills and allow others to lead.
Number 3 is Detailed. She is a deep thinker and very analytical, serious, purposeful and genius prone. Her clothing is usually matching and tends to favor dark or drab colors. She can be talented, creative, artistic and musical, philosophical and poetic. She appreciates beauty and is sensitive to others. She is self-sacrificing, conscientious and idealistic. Her motto is, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”
However she needs to practice flexibility and cheerfulness.
Number 4 is Caring. She is low-key about life. She is easy going and relaxed. She is calm, cool and collected, patient, well-balanced and consistent, usually quiet and witty, sympathetic and kind. She keeps her emotions inside – hidden. Her clothing is not important to her – the color or if it matches – but if it is comfortable. She happily reconciles to whatever life gives. She is an all-purpose person. Her motto is, “I don’t care, whatever you want.”
We are a mixture of each but one stands out above the rest.
Our Gracious Girls Fall 2011, taking a break from leaning.
October 9th, 2011
The Hostess with the Mostess will:
- Send out invitation about two weeks in advance. Be creative and write your own. It can be a flyer if you like. today it is okay to do email invitations. However the older folds still like a written note sent in the mail. Be kind.
- Have an attitude of serving. Think of ways you can serve your guest.
- Ask if your guest have any food restrictions.
The Hostess with the Mostess will:
- Be organized by thinking ahead.
- Ask mom if there is any extra chores she would like help with.
- Tidy your room and the bathroom.
- Plan the food to be served and prepare as much as possible ahead. Ask mother if she would be willing to help.
- Have a dish of snacks like M&Ms and nuts on the table for the guest arriving early, or if you will not be eating right away.
- Have paper plates and cups available near the drink container.
- Show guest where the treats are and encourage them to help their selves.
- Greet each guest as they arrive and introduce each one to the others.
Enjoy your role as Hostess.
October 9th, 2011
Most of us enjoy receiving gifts. Many of us enjoy giving them. Can you imagine there are a few etiquette rules regarding gifts?
Usually gifts are a result of our receiving an invitation. It is good to remember that the first invitation we receive needs to be a priority.
Does that mean we have to go to an event we don’t want to attend? Does it mean that we have to give a gift to someone we really don’t even like or know well enough? No No on both accounts. However we do need to pay respects by RSVP-ing. RSVP just mean we need to respond by saying yes or no. It is good to write a RSVP or call. If you don’t want to attend, simply say something like, “Thank you for including me in your party. I will not be attending.”
A good rule-of-thumb priority is to remember that family is more important than friends. Friends come and go but family will always be family.
A few things to remember:
- The first invitation is the one we need to RSVP to first. We don’t wait to see if something better comes up.
- Simply say no thank you if you do not want to attend.
- When RSVP-ing that you will attend, says something like, “Thank you for including me and I look forward to attending.”
- Take a moment and write a pretend RSVP.
Giving a Gift:
- Choose the gift carefully. Be attentive and give something they would like and enjoy. Not necessarily something you want.
- Remove the price tag. When purchasing clothing, you can ask for a gift receipt and they can exchange it if need be.
- Wrap the gift. Be creative. Some have used brown paper bag as a paper and put a beautiful bow on it. Or some have used the “funnies” from the Sunday paper. Bags are very popular today and work very well if you don’t feel creative.
- Include a card. Don’t make them guess who the gift is from.
- Even when bringing a little hostess gift to someone, include a little card that says something like, “Thank you for including me.” And sign your name.
- Give your gift with confidence. Never apologize for the gift.
- Never say things like:
- “I know you won’t like this.”
- “This is a dumb present.”
- “I couldn’t spend very much.”
- “I didn’t know what to get you.”
- “You probably already have one of these.”
- Put on a smile and do say things like:
- “Happy Birthday.”
- “This is for you.”
- “I hope you like it.”
- “I enjoyed picking it out for you.”
- Timing is important. Be prompt in giving a gift.
- Give with pleasure; put on a smile. enjoy the giving as a gift of love.
Receiving a Gift:
- Always receive a gift with great pleasure and with a smile.
- Say something like:
- “Thank you so much.”
- “I’m going to enjoy reading this book.”
- “This will look so nice in my room.”
- “I’ll sure stay warm in this sweater.”
- Thank them verbally, take your time opening the gift and ooh and aah over it while unwrapping it.
- Treat it like the treasure the person giving it thinks it is.
- Show appreciation for the color or item or thoughtfulness.
- NEVER NEVER NEVER ask for presents.
- NEVER NEVER NEVER complain about it.
- NEVER NEVER NEVER ask how much it cost.
- If you don’t like the gift, is it okay to return it? Yes. Be appreciative for the gift but if it doesn’t fit or you just hate the color, or you already have one (or two), you can take it back. You can save it as give to someone you know might like it. But Always send a thank you for the gift.
- Always send a thank you note.
- Say something personal like, “The socks are a great color and they will keep my feet warm this winter.” “That was very thoughtful of you.”
- Today it is proper etiquette to call and say thank you and to send email or text or FaceBook but remember if you have older folks who generously gave you a gift, they enjoy written notes. Be thoughtful.
- If the gift is money. In your thank you note, let the person know what you spent it on. If you saved it to get a more expensive item, tell them you are saving it to purchase (what ever it is).
October 9th, 2011
Yes, there is a proper way to approach a chair and to exit a chair (or couch). Sometimes young people will rudely pull the chair out from where we thought it was to sit and we fall on the floor. I hope this hasn’t happened to many but I am sure it has for some.
Of course there are times we sit on the floor and relax by crossing our legs “Indian Style” and that is appropriate. But in certain settings like at church or at the theater, or nice restaurant we may want to sit in a little more “lady like” position. We never want to plop!
It feels awkward at first but is really easy and comfortable when we practice in the comfort of our home.
Good way to Sit:
- When preparing to sit, you leg should touch the edge of the chair, lower the body (without bending over) to the place where the chair is, touch the edge of the chair with the hand and sit on the edge and scoot back in the chair. Practice now.
- Sometimes scooting is a challenge due to fabric that wants to grab your garment. After you have scooted back then you can adjust your garment.
- Never rub your hand on your back-side to hold your garment in place as this accentuates the part of the body you don’t want to show off.
- Never bend over while sitting down either. This may give others the opportunity to see down your top.
Good way to Get Up:
- When preparing to exit the chair, place your hand on the edge of the chair to balance you and scoot forward.
- Stand straight up without bending over. Practice again.
Actually this is very easy and you’ll feel good at special places as you get comfortable with the steps.
Have fun. Your friends will be so impressed. Good job!
October 9th, 2011
When a Gracious Young Woman walks she will NOT:
- Slump her shoulders – this is causing her body to look strange.
- Tilt her nose in the air – as to give appear she is in love with herself.
- Or hang her head low – this gives the appearance that she doesn’t think much of herself.
- Swing her legs – she is in a world all her own and someone could get hurt as she pushes by.
- Exaggerate her hips – isn’t very modest looking.
- Look as stiff as a soldier – a little too rigid and looks unfriendly.
When a Gracious Young Woman walks she WILL:
- Take small steps – practice walking in steps about the size of one’s shoe size.
- Hold her shoulders nice and straight – this shows kindness to her frame.
- Hold her head to look eye level at those coming toward her – giving an air of confidence in being a woman.
- Will smile and be friendly – to those she passes on the street.
To check posture, stand close to a walk with each part of your body from heels to tip of head tightly leaning on the wall. It feels strange at first but doing this exercise will help get the feeling of how you want to walk. Tighten up the shoulders on the wall, then roll them down. This helps balance a nice frame for holding your body. While learning to walk in a more lady like manner, practice by exaggerating as you walk around the room and laugh a lot.
September 19th, 2011
Even Marmaduke needs manners.
Mealtime is very important. Manners are to keep mealtime nice for everyone.
- We feed our bodies with food.
- We feed our spirit with love and friendship.
- We digest our food best when meals are peaceful and happy. It is nice if everyone begins and ends about the same time. It is also polite to wait for the hostess (or mom) before you begin to eat. When she picks up her utensil, then you can begin to eat.
- We begin with setting the table.
- First a table cloth or place mat.
- Put something pretty in the middle for decoration.
- Next is the place setting which includes the plate in the middle, the knife and spoon go on the right of the plate with the knife blade facing the plate, then the spoon beside the knife. Then the fork goes on the left side of the plate with the prongs facing up, with the napkin next to the fork. (The less you touch the eating utensils the better.)
- Glasses and cups go a little above the plate and on the right side.
- An option is to place a salad plate on the left side of the fork; an extra glass for another beverage; and soup spoon.
- It is helpful to have a small plate for butter with a separate knife (usually a smaller knife). Butter is sliced and placed on the individual plate then used from that slice of butter.
- Remember food is served on the left and drinks poured on the right.
- If you desire to know a more intricate setting of the table, see www.emilypost.com.
- Before going to the table:
- We wash our hands.
- We brush our hair.
- We may change our top if we have been exercising or are dirty.
- We wait for everybody else to come and sit down together.
- We know where to sit at home, but at someone else’s home wait for the hostess to instruct where to sit.
- The first thing we do is say a blessing. If you notice your hostess isn’t going to pray, you can quietly pray without making a fuss.
- Pick up the napkin next.
- No flying of the napkin like a kite. Be discrete. Quietly take your napkin to the side of the table and to your lap.
- If it is big, leave it folded in half with the fold toward you.
- Use the napkin to pat the corner of your mouth often. Never rub your mouth.
September 14th, 2011
It is polite today for young women to extend their hand to shake another’s as she is being introduced.
- give a wimpy handshake
- give a quick touch and release
- give a long shaking up and down
- look away and say nothing
- extend the hand and clasp firmly (not to hurt the other however)
- shake a quiet up and down motion three times
- continue holding the hand until the handshake is finished
- look them in the eye and say something like, “I am pleased to meet you.” Or “Happy to meet you.”
The definition of handshake according to Merriam-Webster is a clasping usually of right hands by two people as in greeting each other or saying farewell. It was first used in 1871. Over the course of years the custom or accepted etiquette regarding the use of a handshake has varied a bit. Today women are expected to extend their hand as the men have for years. In the past, the man would wait to see if the “lady” would extend her hand before he extended his. Today it is equal. He no longer waits.
*See May 17th writing on handshaking.