"Manners are a sensitive awareness to the feelings of others.
If you have that awareness, it doesn't matter what fork you use."

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Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning have launched their new Awesome Etiquette podcast!

In their podcast, the two cover etiquette in their lives, delve into historical and traditional aspects of etiquette and salute individuals and organizations who are shining examples of good etiquette. Tune in to hear what they've got to say!


I like my relatives, but they grill me about my personal life. How can I deflect their questions nicely?

There are several different ways you can tackle this. Here are a few options:
1. Master the nonanswer.

Start by telling them you value their concern. Try, "You're so kind to be interested in my well-being!" Then say, "When I'm engaged (or promoted, or pregnant), I'll let you know." Not much room for a comeback there!

2. Laugh it off.

Smile, and respond in a playful tone: "A woman never discusses her salary!" Or, wink and say,"Wouldn't you like to know?" That should nip it in the bud.

3. Be direct and switch it up. 

Say, "Much as I love you, I like to keep my private life private." Then change to a topic you feel OK discussing, like your new dog. Or, ask them a nonpersonal question (books and trips are safe bets).


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Read more of Peggy's advice each month in Good Housekeeping. 


Read Peggy Post's thoughts on today's most nuanced wedding dilemmas in her New York Times column.

Most recently:
 Wedding Q. and A.
On when to write thank you notes and the logistics behind addresses changes and gift sending.


Lizzie Post and Daniel Post
Senning are monthly guests on
The Dinner Party Download
a weekly culture and arts shows hosted by Rico Gagliano and Brendan Newnam, and produced
by American Public Media.

You can listen to the whole
show, or scroll down to pick and choose segments.

Check out The Dinner Party Download for more.

Read Peter Post's blog

 Read for information on problems that can evolve from social networking while at the office, and guidelines on maintaining a clean online presence.
Digital Manners no Dan head

Problem with a co-worker?
The holidays are near and we want to start the Thanksgiving season by thanking you for being a part of our Emily Post community. Your interest in etiquette and manners is why we are here, and we are very grateful for your continued participation in making etiquette an important part of American culture. Thank you.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we are all getting very excited about the upcoming holiday. How do you plan celebrate? Does your whole family come from near and far? Do you do a "friends-giving" when family isn't around? We'd love to hear from you about your holiday traditions and what might be new at your table this Thanksgiving, so please send them to our Facebook (The Emily Post Institute) and Twitter (@TheEmilyPostInst) pages and let us share in this holiday season with you.

Dan and Lizzie have a full Thanksgiving-themed episode of the "Awesome Etiquette" podcast ready for next week. Download it Monday and be armed and ready with your best etiquette for the holiday!

Lizzie just returned from New Orleans and New York City. In New Orleans she met her goddaughter, Eva, and attended her first ever Saints game in the Superdome. Both of these firsts were very exciting. In New York, Lizzie hosted a party with AirBnB and Spike Mendelshon of "Top Chef." The food was spectacular and the Park Avenue AirBnB listing was gorgeous! All in all a great trip.

Dan was in Washington, D.C., presenting four seminars and came back thoroughly awed by and proud of our nation's capitol. He's been busy at home winterizing his house on the mountain, and this week even caught a very rare glimpse of a lynx crossing the road in front of him.

Anna recently presented to clients in Boston, and had a wonderful vacation with her new husband and their closest friends on Martha's Vineyard. She and Lizzie did a Twitter Takeover of the @HarperCollins twitter feed to answer questions about holiday etiquette. Anna's current focus is organizing content for our new website.

Peggy has been busy writing her columns and doing interviews and book signings. She has just taken off for a wonderful vacation in Mexico and we cannot wait to hear about her trip when she returns!

Peter and Tricia will be returning from warm, sunny Florida this week to spend the holiday season with the family here in Vermont. We are sad to report to them that it is "stick and sleet" season here and we hope they don't "accidentally" miss their flight home upon hearing this news.

From our family to yours we wish you the very happiest of Thanksgivings!

Remember: We want to hear from you! What are your thoughts? Are there articles you've really enjoyed or topics you'd like us to cover? Let us know at newsletter@emilypost.com.

In honor of Thanksgiving Anna and Lizzie want to share a tradition from their family's holiday: The Leftover Party.


Our Thanksgiving is always a big affair: 15-20 (or more!) guests, a 20-plus pound bird, and all the classic side dishes from sweet potatoes with marshmallows to green beans. Our mother was always great about making sure there would be leftovers, but one year there was so much leftover that she decided to throw a Leftovers Party and invite our family friends.


The Friday after Thanksgiving our family's closest friends came dressed in their most comfy and casual attire, bringing with them all the leftovers from their own Thanksgiving meals. It was wonderful to get to spend a casual evening with good friends and to get to know their out-of-town family members. Everyone got to enjoy the fabulous meals they'd had the day before all over again, but with even more side dishes to sample and enjoy.


It was really wonderful to find a way to combine family and friends, but not be overwhelmed on the day after the Thanksgiving feast. It was also a great way to handle all those leftovers that, let's face it, after three days of re-heats you're ready to be done with until next Thanksgiving.


We hope you and your family enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday to the fullest.




Whether you choose to wear the same jewelry as other relatives wore on their wedding day, or to share special a moment with your partner during your ceremony, traditions can add a personal touch to your wedding. Both cultural and historical traditions are shared everyday around the world in weddings of all shapes and sizes.


Jumping the Broom

Historically, this tradition is associated in the US with African American slaves who were not allowed to marry legally. It emerged as a symbol to represent the establishment of a new household.The broom, often decorated specifically for the occasion, is laid on the floor. The newlyweds jump hand-in-hand over the broom, into their new life as husband and wife. Tradition says that whoever jumps the highest "rules the household."


Breaking the Glass

Traditionally a celebration during Jewish ceremonies, the couple stands under the chuppah, a wedding arch or canopy often adorned with flowers. After the reading of the Seven Blessings, the groom places a glass, wrapped in cloth, on the ground and breaks it with his foot to symbolize the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The symbolic meaning of this act underscores the fragility of love.



During this ceremony, the couple's hands are tied together with rope, cords or ribbon to symbolize their union. This Celtic tradition may have started off as a ceremonial contract between a couple to stay together for a year and a day. If this arrangement worked, the contract would be renewed. Today, the tradition symbolizes the enduring nature of marriage. 
The Shared Cup
Sharing a cup of wine between the marrying couple is a traditional part of many religious and secular wedding ceremonies. In China, the couple drinks wine and honey from goblets tied together with red string. The shared cup is also seen as a reception tradition, for example amongst the French, who drink from a double-handled cup, called a "loving cup."

The beauty of a tradition is adapting it to what is most meaningful to you and your partner. We encourage you to use these ideas to help make your own!

Tune in for more culture specific traditions in the December newsletter. Can't wait until then? Check out Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette, 6th edition or visit www.emilypost.com.


Responding to Job Offers and Rejections

Amidst applications, paperwork and interviews, the process of job searching leaves everyone with the same two possible outcomes: an offer or a rejection. Each can trigger a number of emotions as well as the pressure to make an impulsive decision. But before accepting your next job, or sending out an email that you may later regret, think of how a true professional would act.


Responding to an Offer

Receiving a job offer is exciting-someone wants to hire you! However, there are some important things to consider before signing the paperwork and accepting the position. Respond to the initial offer with something along the lines of, "Thank you, this is exciting! I'd like some time to consider it. When do you need my response?" This is the time to examine what your commitment will entail.

Evaluate what the job will do for you as an employee. Find out what the company is really like and outline what your hopes and expectations are. When you call or meet to accept the offer, keep in mind that this is the time when you have the most leverage. Dive into those dirty details about benefit packages and exactly what your salary will be. These are important negotiating points that need to be clear before moving forward. Finally, if you are currently employed, agree on a start date at least two weeks away so you are able to give your current employer adequate notice.


Responding to a Rejection

As much as everyone would like to land their dream job as soon as possible, the truth is job rejections are the norm. The way that you handle a rejection says a lot about you as a professional. Instead of spiraling into an angry funk, take this opportunity as a learning experience. Send a short but direct note to the company, thanking them for considering you. This action shows that you are both well-mannered and a person of substance. It is the equivalent of writing a thank-you note after an interview, and gives you the opportunity to maintain a relationship that could be utilized in the future. Remember: The person who rejected you this time may be the person making a decision about you in the future.


For more information on job search etiquette, check out Emily Post's The Etiquette Advantage in Business, Third Edition or visit www.emilypost.com.


One of the best things about a cocktail party is that they aren't very complicated to plan and pretty much anyone can throw one.  That's not to say some people may need more help than others, but cocktail parties have lots of flexibility. They can be scheduled for a Tuesday night where friends stop by for an after work drink, they can be the pre-party to a big Saturday night out, or they can be a stand-alone main event.


Cocktail parties are a great way to introduce old friends to new friends, or to network with other company colleagues. The "get a drink and mingle as you wish" feel of cocktail parties promotes a free flowing environment that encourages a little bit of everything, mixed with a lot of fun and conversation.


So you've decided to host a cocktail party: How do you imagine it? Do you want to be in charge of delivering appetizers to your guests and mixing up their favorite drinks? Or would you prefer to be mingling around the room? Follow our cocktail party timeline for an outline of what to do when, from the pre-planning to the actual event.  This timeline covers all the bases, so amend it to fit your party, particularly a more informal get-together.


The Timeline

Four Weeks: Hire any professionals or other help.


Three Weeks: Send invitations; plan menu and decor.


Two Weeks: Purchase all nonperishable items: liquor, beer, wine, seltzers, sodas, and paper goods. Order special ingredients and arrange for any rental items, such as extra glassware and plates. Set the delivery date one day before the party.


One Week: Organize music, prepare grocery and to do lists, pick up any nonperishable decor items, order flowers.


Two Days: Shop for groceries.


One Day: Clean house, prep guest bathroom, set up coat area, prep food, pick up flowers, make "day of" timetable.


Day Of (Morning): Assemble flowers and decorations; assemble, or have ready to assemble, all hors d'oeuvres; prep serving platters with utensils. Label dipping bowls or platters, set up bar & glassware. Chill wine, beer and mixers.  Make sure to have plenty of ice.


Two Hours Ahead: Get yourself ready!


One Hour to 45 Minutes Ahead: Begin setting out hors d'oeuvres on platters, preheat oven for heated hors d'oeuvres, and set out coasters.


Half Hour: Turn on music (test volume), give guest bathroom and party area a final check, finish setting bar with ice, mixers, and garnishes, finish prepping hors d'oeuvres.


During: Replenish hors d'oeuvres platters, heat and serve any hot hors d'oeuvres.  


And most important, make sure to take some time to enjoy the event you have worked so hard to plan! 


For more information on cocktail party hosting and etiquette check out Emily Post's Great Get-Togethers or visit www.emilypost.com.  
Thanksgiving Day Table Setting

Watch as Tricia Post sets the Thanksgiving Day table and gives guidance on how to make it your own.
ETIQUETTE BITES |Cell Phone Etiquette 101 

Watch as Daniel Post Senning delves into the question of the number one etiquette mistake people make with their cell phones.

The "Awesome Etiquette" podcast, hosted by Dan and Lizzie, is looking to hear from you! So don't be shy. Send in your etiquette questions, awesome etiquette salutes, etiquette confessions, or suggest any topics you'd like to hear about on the podcast to awesomeetiquette@emilypost.com.

And don't forget to subscribe via iTunes - IT'S FREE!

Awesome Etiquette is apart of The Infinite Guest Network from American Public Media.


IDEAS ON PINTEREST | Get Inspired. Visit our boards.
 Expecting visitors over the holidays? Wondering how you can make  them feel at home? Check out our Pinterest boards to get inspired!   

Anna Post
To see more news stories with Post advice, visit our newsroom.


Please visit our contact page to reach us, or you can find us on Facebook and Twitter. We love hearing from you, so please feel free to post to our social media and join in the conversation. We may not always be able to respond, but we read every question and comment. From our family to yours we hope you have a wonderful November and a happy Thanksgiving! As always, thank you for your continued interest in etiquette and The Emily Post Institute.      

Sincerely, The Posts