Professional Etiquette Trainer Helps You Deal With the Holidays

Nov. 10, 2006 – Gifts for the host & hostess: Taking a gift for the host or hostess of a party isn’t necessary, but it is a token of your appreciation for being asked to be a part of their special event. Common and generally accepted gifts are wine and flowers. If you take wine, remember that it is a gift, and the host should not be expected to open it. If you take flowers, it is nice to place them in a vase so the host doesn’t have to leave the guests to find one and arrange the flowers. For an even better alternative, send a bouquet from the florist earlier in the day.
Thank you cards: Handwritten notes are a special gesture, especially in a time when we would sooner go to the computer than the pen. When you receive a gift, a handwritten thank you is the best way to go, especially if the gift is particularly special or if the giver spent a lot of time and thought on it. Write your thank you notes as soon as you can, usually within two weeks after receiving a gift. If you forget to send the note right away, go ahead and send it anyway, as a late thank you is better than none at all.
Giving gift cards: Gift cards are a perfectly acceptable gift – but only if you consider the interests of the recipient. Gift cards can also be “dressed up” by providing other items with them; for example, if you give a gift of movie tickets, you can package them in a large popcorn container with some Goobers and Raisinets. This shows you put some thought into the gift, rather than merely giving a gift card because you didn’t know what else to give.
Handling rude shoppers: Almost everyone’s stress level increases when it comes to holiday shopping. This is only exacerbated when there are impatient, pushy and grumpy shoppers abound. So, smile, be friendly and remember to say, “please, thank you and you’re welcome.” Chances are, this refreshing bit of warmth during the crazed shopping season will help others get into the holiday spirit, too.
Handling gifts you hate: Sometimes we are unfortunate enough to receive a gift we just don’t like. However, don’t forget to smile and say, “thank you.” Remember, a gift is just that, a gift… not a requirement. Depending on who the gift giver is, you may or may not have to let that person see you with the gift. After the holidays have passed, you may either return the gift where it was purchased, or donate it to a charitable organization.
About Sharon Hill International: Sharon Hill International introduces an innovative and dynamic formula, created by the American Business Etiquette Trainers Association (ABETA), teaching employees about corporate loyalty and retaining customers. Sharon Hill, President of Sharon Hill International, speaks to groups, organizations and corporations across the globe, focusing on business etiquette, diversity training and communication in the workplace. For more information about Sharon Hill International, or to book a seminar, call 877-468-8125 or email

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