Slice of Life: Etiquette

I’ve been trying to scale back my blogging to allow me time to write and accomplish some other goals. This is hard while still having a desire to keep my regular blog readers engaged in my posts. Therefore, some of my posts are becoming shorter. Some might consider this a very good thing!

As the holidays approach, I’ve been thinking about gift and entertaining etiquette.

Do you send a card to someone who sent you one? (Sometimes.)

Do you gift someone just because you want to? (Yes, of course; I have done this.)

Do you make gifts for friends? (Yes, of course, especially if I know they will be appreciated.)

After asking family for gift ideas, do you get what they want or do you get what you want them to have? (This depends, most times I try to get what they want; after all, I asked for ideas!)

If a non-family member is present for opening stockings, do you give them one? (Yes, I would, although it might just be a gift bag filled with stocking stuffer-type goodies.)

If someone brings you a bottle of wine as a gift or for hosting, do you open it immediately, during their visit, even if you are providing some already? (Traditionally, I have not done this but am now questioning whether that behavior is considered rude.)

Have you ever given or received an appliance as a gift? Is it okay with you? (This was not okay with me, but now it is! Early in our marriage, my husband gave me an appliance – I cannot remember what it was as we’ve been married for 34 years – but I spazzed out and told him I didn’t want (insert appliance type) what it was, even if we needed it. I’m sure he was hurt but he’s never given me an appliance again unless I ask for one. (And, guess what? I have asked for several appliances over the years! )

If you are invited to someone’s house, do you always take something (food/drink/a hostess gift)? As a general rule, I always try to bring something, even if it is just a hostess/host gift. However, I like to be asked to bring something and told what would be needed or appreciated for the meal or visit. If not, I’ll bring something anyway. So, when invited, I always try to ask, “what can I bring?” And, if I’m not told, I will still bring something!

These are some of the things I’ve been wondering about lately as the holidays approach. How do you handle some of these situations? I’m sure what is customary varies from family to family, place to place, region to region, and country to country! If you have time, let me know how you’d handle one or more of these “situations” during the holidays in the comments.

Pixabay Free for Use Licenseing by silviarita.

Today is Slice of Life Tuesday! Thanks to, we have a wonderfully supportive weekly forum to submit our writing and network with others the world over. I have participated in Slice of Life since February 2017.

6 thoughts

  1. This was interesting to read. Card sending and gift making has scaled down lately. In our family (mom, dad, sis, brother-in-law, two nephews, my hubby, our three daughters and I) adults get only one gift, and we have shared who makes a gift to whom, trying to take in consideration the wishes of people. At work place i gave gift to a very few and then something edible or drinkable. With my three friends we decided that we’ll spend a day out together rather than give stuff or expect one of us host us at home. Christmas is more of a family holiday so I don’t have to entertain or visit people. We have a get together with the family at mom’s place and each one contributes food to the table. (Such a good invitation from you. I think my answer to you might be longer than my slice.) Enjoy the holiday season. I hope that majority of people are just happy to be around each other and don’t think too much about gifts and etiquette.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing how you’ve scaled back, Terje. I think it is wise to do so, especially when we get older and have less tangible wants or needs. We scaled back on Christmas for our boys this year because one is taking a trip with us so we did not give him presents. The others got a few things but then $ instead – being all young adults they can use the $ for things they want or need. I don’t know if I’ll send cards next year or not. Not sure it’s worth the effort and expense anymore. And, yes, that is a change of heart for me since my post. I apologize about the delayed reply!


  2. What a great, timely topic!

    Work, this year I dropped back considerably what I do. I used to make 12 – 15 loaves of bread. This year, zero. The time and energy just were not there. Maybe next year.

    Family, we have one side that is very much “gift” family. The other, an “experiences” family. We are stuck in the middle, trying muddle our way through.

    We don’t entertain enough for me to really answer the wine question, though if someone brought a bottle, I’d chill it and probably open it later. Wine doesn’t last long here.

    We live in Iowa, of course we bring something to someone’s house! 🙂

    I hope your holidays are full of family and friends!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Darin! It was fun to hear what others do in response to this post. I appreciate you sharing. I never got a good answer on the wine but the next bottle that enters will be opened. I’m afraid a few thought I was ungrateful or rude that their bottle wasn’t opened. I don’t want that! If they don’t want me to open it, I’ll abide by their wishes! I hope you have a great NEW YEAR!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You post has me thinking of how things change through the generations … and what stays the same. I don’t send many cards but this was vitally important to my grandmother. The world is different with social media and texting. I have made many gifts in my lifetime, but not this year. I have given and received appliances…I guess the joy factor rests on what the appliance IS! I would never be unhappy with something that makes coffee. And I currently need a dishwasher, so…Santa, feel free. I cannot answer the wine etiquette question but would be interested in the answer. I absolutely ask what I can bring to gatherings although if I am hosting I don’t expect others to being anything (I just enjoy whatever they decide to bring; my daughter-in-law makes gorgeous, delicious cookies). Most of all, I am excited for my family to gather here on Christmas Eve for seafood and present-opening; with two little granddaughters, my anticipation presently knows no bounds! Merry Christmas to you and all yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Fran, for your detailed response to my post. I have enjoyed hearing what others do during the holidays and how/what they’ve changed over the years. As I told Terje, I am considering giving card sending next year. I do not know it is worth the effort. I still enjoy making gifts and while I can, I will continue to do that. Lastly, I am so happy to hear about how your relationship with your grandmother inspires you to be a great one for your grandchildren. I hope to do the same when the time comes for me. We are starting to talk about “when” it will be our turn to have grandkids – some of our friends are already experiencing this joyful phase of life! I hope your holidays were very happy and the new year brings you everything you hope for! I apologize for my late response!

      Liked by 1 person

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