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If you have that awareness, it doesn't matter what fork you use."

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Traditions from Around the World: Part Two
Gifts In the Workplace
Top 3 Gift Tips
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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!


My relatives expect me to host the holidays every year. How do I hand off the tradition to someone else?

Follow these smart rules for dealing with this touchy situation:

1. Always...

bring it up early to give others time to plan. Try, "I love hosting, but let's rotate our gathering to another person's home starting this year." 

2. Never...

complain about past get-togethers. If you get pushback, say, "I have to take a break because of my crazy schedule."
3.It's all right to... offer to bring a dish or pitch in with cleanup, based on what the new host prefers. 


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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:
On thank you notes and proper wording for wedding invitations.


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.


Read Peter Post's blog

This week, Peter discusses the importance of keeping professionalism in mind when attending holiday office parties and some of the guidelines for the event.  

Digital Manners no Dan head

Problem with a co-worker?
Are you filled with good tidings and cheer? We are! The holidays are our busiest time of year here at Emily Post and we are so happy to be sharing them with you, our readers, followers, and fans.

We can't believe how quickly 2014 has flown by, but we are so grateful that it has brought us so many good things. Each of the Posts wanted to express what they were most excited about in 2014.

Lizzie: I'm excited by the launch of the "Awesome Etiquette" podcast. For a long time, we have wanted to have our conversations about etiquette and the advice that we give be something we could share with our audience. The podcast allows us to not only do that, but to answer listener questions directly as well. That's a win-win in my book!

Peter: I'm most excited by the increased interest in our Train the Trainer programs, which allowed us to offer the training twice in 2014. That trend looks like it's continuing for 2015 and it's exciting to me because it's more people out there who are a part of the Emily Post family teaching etiquette to America (and abroad).

Peggy: I'm excited about the wonderful people I've met this past year who have attended my book-signing events and speeches - topped off by the members of the Charleston, SC, Area Wedding Planners who hosted me as their keynote speaker.

Dan: I was most excited by our trip to South Korea this year to do business etiquette training. I had always wanted to visit that part of the world and everything from the people we did business with to the food and culture we got to experience was incredible.

Anna: I was excited about our brand re-design. I love that we have a fresh, new look that organizes our content areas and feels like it fits our brand's personality. 
As another year comes to a close, we want to express our deepest gratitude to you our readers and supporters. Without you, Emily Post would be a name of the past. Because of your interest and desire to live in a world where civility, etiquette, and manners are not just important but are integral to the fabric of our communities, Emily Post has carried on. And we will carry on into 2015 excited to see what the world has to bring.

May you have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family and from everyone here at the Emily Post Institute, have a Happy New Year!

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.


This month, we continue the theme of wedding traditions from around the world. We have chosen some of the most unique traditions to create a diverse selection of how wedding festivities differ based on history, tradition, and culture. When planning your wedding, consider including a custom or tradition from your heritage.



Many African traditions revolve around the use of color and the cloth design of the couple's wedding attire. A Kente cloth is most common, using woven red, gold, and green designs to signify personal, societal, religious, and political culture. The repeated color pattern of red, green, and gold symbolize the continent's liberation: red for the blood shed by millions in captivity, green for the vegetation of the African homeland, and gold for the mineral wealth and prosperity in Africa.



The German wedding cup is uniquely crafted in the shape of a young girl wearing a full skirt, holding a cup over her head. The couple each drinks from the wedding cup to signify their joining together. Polterbend is a party often held the night before the wedding. This celebration combines guests teasing the couple and breaking cheap china purchased specifically for the event, with the hopes of dispelling evil spirits. 


Hispanic American

Traditional colors valued within this culture often go unseen. Hidden underneath her white gown, the bride may sew ribbons of symbolic colors into her lingerie. Yellow stands for food, blue for money, and red for passion in her marriage. The bride will likely wear a mantilla, a short white lace veil that covers her face, and may opt to swap flowers for a fan. One item you won't see a Hispanic American bride wearing? Pearls, as there is a belief that they are an indicator of bad luck. The groom often wears attire similar to that of a matador, with a black bolero jacket and fitted pants or white drawstring pants and a Mexican wedding shirt.



Traditionally the Irish bride carried a horseshoe for good luck. This custom has evolved over the years and today, rather than carrying an actual horseshoe, many brides opt for a smaller decorative porcelain piece. Legend says that the chime of a bell can ward off evil spirits and remind the couple of their wedding vows, so a bell is a traditional gift.  


Looking for more information on a specific culture or tradition not included above? Check out Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette, 6th edition or visit www.emilypost.com. 



We often hear about the different gifting traditions unique to various families, but when it comes to the workplace, gifting can be more complex. The biggest question is: "Do I need to buy everyone in the office a gift?" In many workplaces this problem is solved for us. By having an organized Secret Santa or a set budget limit, the burden of "who to gift and how much to spend" is lifted.


When choosing a gift for a colleague, the most important aspects to keep in mind are the cost, the degree to which the gift is personal, and the business relationship.


Cost: As with any other gift, it's important to stick within your budget. If your office has set a dollar limit, respect it. This is the time to be creative with your choice of gift, not to try to outspend your coworkers. Humor is great, but be careful not to choose a gift that could be off-color, risqué, or racially or religiously offensive.


Personal: It is okay if you choose to give a gift to a particular co-worker or to your assistant, just do so discreetly. The guideline to follow here is to choose a gift that is thoughtful but not too personal. Consider the person's interest and hobbies. Maybe a nice desk diary would help keep them organized at work, or maybe they would prefer a gift certificate to try a new restaurant in town. Gifts that might be too personal? A bouquet of red roses, cologne, sleepwear, or lingerie.


Business Relationship: Though not a strict rule, it is generally not advisable to give a gift to your boss. The middle ground between not giving a gift and giving an individual one is to present your boss with a joint gift from a group of employees within the company. This shows appreciation and gratitude from many employees, and doesn't come across as you trying to please the boss. If sending gifts to other clients, check with their HR department to see if gifts are allowed, or if there is a dollar limit. It's safe to opt for something that can be consumed, such as chocolates, cheeses, or fruit, so all the employees at the other company can enjoy the benefit. If sending a gift with your company logo, be careful not to use this opportunity solely for advertising. Keep your logo tasteful and present but not overbearing.


The holiday season can often be an expensive time. Remember that the purpose of giving a gift is to signify the message that "our relationship is important." If you choose to make your own candies or buy the same gift in varying colors for your co-workers, at the end of the day it is the thought that counts.




With stores abuzz and things to do, keep in mind these top three tips for gift giving this holiday season!


1. Stay within your budget.

Amidst the excitement of the holiday season, sometimes the pressure to give the perfect thing is overwhelming and ends in purchasing gifts that may be pushing your budget. The rule of thumb: Be respectful of your own spending limits. While it's nice to be generous, you will feel much better giving a gift that you can actually afford. Keep in mind that over-the-top gifts can also be overwhelming to the recipient. This leads back to the old saying, "It's the thought that counts," not the price. Sometimes the best gift isn't tied up with a bow, but perhaps instead involves volunteering your time at a local organization. This can be more meaningful than anything that comes with a price tag.


2. Gifts don't have to be reciprocal.

It's pretty simple: Just because someone gives you a gift, does not mean you have to fake "I forgot your gift at home," when, really, they weren't on your list this year. Pressure to make gift giving reciprocal takes away from the gesture and the gratitude that comes with it. If you receive a gift from someone for whom you did not buy a gift, kindly thank him or her for thinking of you, as you would in any other circumstance. At another time you can give a gift to the person, if you wish. Give and receive gifts for the enjoyment of it, not with the expectation of receiving something in return.


3. Receiving gifts.

Receiving a gift is an honor. Someone put time, effort, thought, and creativity into something they thought you would enjoy. That being said, express your gratitude sincerely. If you open the gift in front of the giver, thank them graciously. If the gift was not given in person, it's very important to remember to send a prompt thank-you note. Nothing is worse than sending a gift to someone and wondering if they ever received it. A thank-you note diffuses this worry, while also making the giver feel appreciated.


Sometimes we receive gifts that just aren't right. If something is not what you would have picked out yourself, it's best to keep this to yourself. Don't be dishonest or show fake enthusiasm, but rather show your appreciation for the gesture, "Mary, this is so thoughtful. Thank you!"


Remember, at the end of the day, some of the best gifts are the people and things that surrounded us everyday. Holiday cheer can always be spread more ways than one!


For more information on gift tips, check out Emily Post's Etiquette 18th Edition or visit www.emilypost.com. 

Lizzie Post gives advice on the etiquette of dealing with food allergies or dietary restrictions when attending a dinner.

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 any suggested topics you'd like to hear about on the podcast to awesomeetiquette@emilypost.com. You can also post questions to our Facebook or Twitter page using the #awesomeetiquette so we know you want your question answered on the show!

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

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


IDEAS ON PINTEREST | Get Inspired. Visit our boards.
  Looking for a way to stay warm as the days get colder? Interested in spicing up your morning cup of coffee? Check out our Pinterest boards to get inspired!   

Peggy Post
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 December! As always, thank you for your continued interest in etiquette and The Emily Post Institute.      


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