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Tag Archives: etiquette

Jane Austen’s Principles of Good Conversation

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Jane Austen as painted by her sister, Cassandra

Jane Austen as painted by her sister, Cassandra

In the novels of Jane Austen, being able to carry on a pleasant conversation is a mark of a virtuous character. (Although not a sufficient one—the villainous Misters Willoughby and Wickham are enchanting conversationalists.) But most of the best conversations in her novels—and in our own, twenty-first century lives—assume the same six principles, all of which stem from intelligence and thoughtfulness. By following these principles we not only make conversations more enjoyable, we can also become better, wiser people. Read the rest of this entry

Two Wedding Gift “Rules” That Are Meant to Be Broken

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The Wedding Morning by John Henry Frederick BaconWedding gifts are important. They allow us to show our support to the happy couple and to help them start their new lives together. Maybe that’s why wedding gift-giving can get emotionally charged and high-stress. But it turns out that those rules are less complicated than you may think. Read the rest of this entry

Why Everyday Politeness Is One of the Best Gifts of All, Part One

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Allegory of Virtue by Simon Vouet
During the Month of Self-Giving, I’ve put a lot of thought into the gifts that really matter–the acts of sacrifice that really change us.

For example, when I give make my husband an elaborate brunch (one of his favorite treats), I often expect some relaxation time in return. Even though I’ve worked hard and given him something he really enjoys, I haven’t really made myself more generous spirited. How do I go from doing something generous to being a generous person, who makes sacrifices for others without thinking about them and without feeling self-righteous or resentful?

I want to strengthen the virtue of generosity within myself. Read the rest of this entry

The Hows and Whys of Holiday Tipping

Christmas Comes But Once a Year by Charles GreenHoliday tips have been controversial since they were introduced into the U.S. in the 1930s and 40s. While you should never feel obliged to give a gift, holiday tipping is an important way to show your appreciation to the people in your life who work hard to make your days a little bit easier. After all, a holiday tip is really a “thank you” for a year of good service. Experimental Wifery explains who to tip, what to tip, and how to tip if your budget isn’t up to the expense. Read the rest of this entry

Why Christmas Cards Are Still Important and Basic Christmas Card Etiquette

The world's first Christmas card

The world’s first Christmas card

Christmas cards have been around since the 1840s. They’ve had their ups and downs and, like all things Christmas, have often gotten caught up in the commercialization of Christmas. But in an age where digital correspondence is the norm and personal letters are rare, a hand-written note can still bring joy and pleasure to someone’s holiday season. Read the rest of this entry

Trick-or-Treating Etiquette

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Like most exciting holidays where we give and receive, Halloween is a tempting time to get so caught up in the occasion we forget our manners. But Halloween has rules of etiquette all its own for candy-givers and trick-or-treaters.

Giving out candy

  • Before sunset, be sure to clear the path to your door of anything that might be hazardous in the dark—electrical cords, wet leaves, bikes, and skateboards can create quite an obstacle course when trick-or-treaters can’t see.
  • Read the rest of this entry

How to Tip Like a Lady

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Service jobs are hard. Leaving a tip is an important way to say “thank you” to the people who make a living taking care of other people’s basic needs. And in many cases, a tip is one of the only ways to make a statement about the quality of service you have received. But the tip line on a receipt or the jar on the counter often leaves us awkwardly wondering exactly how much money sends the right message. By applying two simple rules, you can always be sure you’re doing the right thing by those who serve you. Read the rest of this entry