"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!


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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 the archive of her New York Times column.


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.

To see previous episodes, check out The Dinner Party Download.

Read Peter Post's blog
The Jobs Doc Blog.

Encouraging an atmosphere of consideration and respect, the result is a positive, civil work place where the focus is on getting the job done.

Digital Manners no Dan head

Problem with a co-worker?


It's hard to believe it's December of 2015 already. With chillier weather and the holiday season in full swing we welcome the last month of the year and we hope you do, too!  


Everyone seems to be thinking about etiquette during the holidays, from parties and gift giving to holiday tipping. Believe it or not, it's peak season for engagements, too. Etiquette is all around us in December. No matter what you're celebrating, it's always best to remember that at the heart of all the things we worry about (awkward conversations, whether or not someone likes their gift, how great the food we serve is...) what we're really hoping for is to have a good time with one another and celebrate being together. So if the stress or worry creeps in, take a deep breath and remember what the holidays are really about. 


We've got great things planned for 2016, but we're very happy not to rush the new year. Instead, we're focused on spending a little bit of December with you. Don't miss our end of the year special on Business Etiquette Seminars. Our newsletter is now all about you, so don't be shy. If you have an etiquette question to propose for us for next month's newsletter, or if you have any thoughts or comments for us please, write to us at newsletter@emilypost.com.    


Early-Bird Discount Deadline for April Programs is January 25, 2016
We offer three training programs - Business, Children's & Wedding - in beautiful Burlington, Vermont, for individuals interested in starting their own etiquette business or being the trainer at their company. 
Our 2016 programs are scheduled for April 25-30 and September 19-24, 2016. In April only, we're offering a special opportunity to take all 3 programs in one trip.
The 10% Early-Bird Discount is available for registration for the April programs when payment is made by January 25, 2016.
For further details, questions and forms, please contact our Director of Sales, Steven Puettner, at steven@emilypost.com. 
BUSINESS Body Odor      

Dear Emily Post,

I have a situation at work that I have no idea how to handle. I'm hoping you can help. I work with and manage a small team. One of our team members has a body odor problem, but she seems unaware of it. Most of us have noticed it by now, and I hate to say that we've mentioned it to one another, but we have. Even the maintenance man mentioned something around her one day, but she didn't pick up on it. She does not take criticism well, but this needs to be addressed. Who should do it and how should they handle it?

Many thanks,
K. Mercer 

Dear K. Mercer,

This is such a difficult situation and you're right to want to address it. Leaving it as a problem will only make your coworker more isolated. However, because she is sensitive it's best to handle this extra carefully. Often we suggest that someone close to the person broach the subject in private and use language like "If the situation were reversed, I would want you to tell me."

In this case having it come from you, as her manager, as soon as possible could work. Start your meeting by focusing on positive contributions to the team and her value to you as an employee. Then say, "As your supervisor, there is one thing I need to discuss with you. I mention this because I want you to be successful. I'm not sure you're aware of it. Do you know you have body odor?"

This is a sensitive subject, and it might take her a little time to understand the advice is coming from a helpful place. Mentioning that you're not sure if she's aware of it allows her to say, "Yes, I know, I'm on a medication that causes body odor," or for her to say "I had no idea." Focus on the fact that dealing with it will prevent it from becoming a problem at work and that you are available to help her.

Best of luck with this difficult situation.
For more information on business etiquette, check out Emily Post's The Etiquette Advantage in Business, 3rd Edition or visit www.emilypost.com.
WEDDING Thankless Trend?  
 Good afternoon,

In recent years it seems that more and more frequently we do not receive a "Thank you" for wedding gifts that we send. We often order gifts through web sites, and they are sent directly to the bride's home. But no thank yous! We just went to a wedding about six weeks ago and haven't heard anything from the newlyweds. Is this a trend?  


G Anders

Dear G. Anders,

Thank you so much for writing in. If this is a trend, it is certainly not one we are endorsing! Thank-you notes are still very important, no matter if the gift is cash, a gift sent via the Internet, or one given in person.

One of the best ways to address someone who has not sent you a thank-you note is to contact them and ask if they received the gift you sent. It's important not just as a gentle nudge to remind the person they haven't thanked you, but as a true inquiry as to whether or not the gift was received.

Imagine if there was a mix-up and somehow the gift was never received. You're left wondering about the note, and the couple is left wondering if you ever sent anything at all! It certainly wouldn't be polite of the couple to call you and ask where their gift was. So it is left to you, the sender of the gift, to inquire (politely, of course!) if the gift was received. Hopefully this prompts, at the very least, a verbal, email, or text thank you for the gift.

Even when others  fail to hold up their end when it comes to social graces, it's important for us to hold up our end as much as possible.
LIFESTYLE Continental vs. American

teach kids table manners

I've always thought (and used) the American, or zig-zag, method of using cutlery as the correct one. However, the Continental method for cutting and eating meat seems to be prevalent these days in the US. This seems logical--the zig-zag is difficult to teach and use--but what's the right way to teach children and teens so that they don't embarrass themselves at an interview or a formal dinner in the future?  And if you do use a mixture of methods, where does the idle hand go?  Wrists on the table or idle hand in the lap?


Dear KS,

Both methods are considered correct, and neither is viewed as better than the other. It's simply a cultural difference. And even that is blurred these days. As you note in your question, many Americans use the Continental style of eating. In the US, when you're not using your knife, it's best to have your idle hand in your lap, especially during more formal meals. While it's not offensive in any way, resting your wrist against the table while you eat comes across as a more casual dining style.

When it comes to teaching children and teens, it's best to start simply and then add complexity as children gain skills. For younger children, let them master the fork and spoon first. At about age 7 or 8, or when their hand coordination is more developed, you can introduce the correct way to hold and use the knife for cutting. Then, move on to the zig-zag maneuvers.  You could easily explain the finer points to a teen, but younger children need to focus on the basics first.

We hope you enjoy many a meal to come!

 For more information on table manners, check out Emily Post's Etiquette, 18th Edition or visit www.emilypost.com. 
Guest Room Tips 

Lizzie Post shares how to create an inviting and comfortable guest room for your house guests. For more videos visit our youtube page EmilyPostProductions.

The "Awesome Etiquette" podcast, hosted by Dan and Lizzie is looking to hear from you! So give us a shout. 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 #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 | Visit our boards. Get inspired.

 From winter wonderlands and snow covered critters to table settings and decorations, check out our Pinterest board on Holidays to get inspired! 

Lizzie 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 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, and a very Happy New Year! As always, thank you for your continued interest in etiquette and The Emily Post Institute.      


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