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Tag Archives: etiquette

How to Address the Queen (and Other Important People)

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You’re in London celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. You’re touring Westminster Cathedral and suddenly, surrounded by an entourage, there she is. You freeze. What now?

Knowing how to interact with members of an aristocracy can seem strange to many Americans. (Don’t worry—it seems strange to many people in the United Kingdom, too.) But that doesn’t mean you cannot show the Queen the respect due to the second-longest-reigning British monarch in history. Read the rest of this entry

How to Be a Perfect Houseguest

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If being able to play hostess is one of the greatest pleasures of being a woman, being an excellent guest comes in close behind it. Hospitality is supposed to be a reciprocal relationship—a thing you sometimes give, and sometimes receive. When you act the part of a perfect overnight guest, you’re graciously accepting your host or hostess’ generous gift. Here are a few guidelines for being a perfect houseguest. Read the rest of this entry

How to Write Great Thank You Notes

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Mary Kay Ash, the founder of the Mary Kay Cosmetics company, set herself a simple task: she hand wrote three thank you notes at the close of each day. She attributed part of her success in business to taking the time to let the people around her know they were appreciated. Read the rest of this entry

How to Be a Gracious Hostess

Philemon and Baucis give hospitality to Zeus and Hermes.

Most cultures have accepted hospitality as one of the greatest womanly virtues since their earliest recorded history. In Ancient Greece, hospitality (xenia) was supervised by no lesser god than Zeus.

Being able to play hostess is also one of the great pleasures of wifery. And following a few simple guidelines can turn your house from a place for your guests to crash into a warm, welcoming home. Read the rest of this entry

How to Set a Formal Table

Everything on the table must be geometrically spaced; the centerpiece in the actual center, the “places” at equal distances, and all utensils balanced; beyond this one rule you may set your table as you choose.—Emily Post, 1922
We eat to fill our bellies. But we dine to fill our souls. No matter how caught up we get in our day-to-day routines, a meal is a chance to pause, take stock of what’s important to us, and enjoy time with our family or friends.Setting the table is a great way to remind yourself to dine. You don’t have to set the table “the old fashioned way,” but it does set guests at ease to have utensils and glasses where they expect them to be.

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