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lunes, 27 de diciembre de 2010

Remember to say THANK YOU!

The etiquette of saying thank you.

We are at the peak of gift giving season, of holiday party invitations, of sharing dinners with friends and family.  All those events are acts of love and as such should be thanked.
As we say Thank you, we  show  that we appreciate what has been done for us. It shows respect and consideration for the giver and rewards with affection all of the trouble that another human being has gone through, just to please us.
Many times we skip saying THANK YOU, simply because we are not sure how to do it, or don’t think it is necessary. Let’s start by saying that a THANK YOU is always necessary if we have been the recipient of an item (gift) or an action that was meant for our pleasure or enjoyment. Whether, we actually liked or enjoyed it, is another story. But, remember that a very important part of having good manners is showing consideration for our fellow human beings. This is as good a place to start doing just that.
It is also, a very good time of the year to promote this habit among our children and grandchildren. They are so fortunate and have received so many presents, that it is our obligation to teach them how to show gratitude.
There are a few simple rules:
1- Handwritten Thank You Notes:   Remember those, yes they still exist and should be used.
-The rule is that if you received a gift in the mail or delivered in some way that the giver was not present to be thanked right then and there, then please send them a thank you note, ideally mentioning the item that was received and some detail showing how much you are enjoying it. This applies to the store gift card sent by your aunt in New York as well as the tickets to the game that your mother gave you by having them ready for you at the “will call” ticket window at the arena!
-After a holiday dinner at your best friend’s house. She should be told how much fun you had and how great her cooking is. Let her know you appreciate her efforts! Put a little note in the mail and you will always be on her guest list, guaranteed.
2-E-mail Thank You:
-Any invitation that you received electronically, can also be thanked afterwards the same way. Keep in mind that you should keep your message short and that is not a private communication as is a letter, so your comments must take that into consideration.
3-Phone Calls:
-I think that the human voice is precious! Now days it is getting more and more unusual to receive a courtesy call which makes it all the more rewarding. If you received an invitation by phone, by e-mail and even by mail, you may always say thank you by making a quick call. It should be short as the only subject of conversation should be saying thank you for a specific event. Don’t take the opportunity to start talking business or about your cousin’s surgery, leave that for another moment. You want the person you call to understand that it was a thank you call, so limit your subject of conversation.
Get in the habit of saying THANK YOU; remember that saying, “What goes around, comes around” before you know people will start thanking you, and won’t you be pleasantly surprised.
Happy New Year and thank you for reading my blog. Hope it has been useful.

miércoles, 15 de diciembre de 2010

How do I improve my kids manners?

Etiqueta Excellence promotes good manners.
by Yvonne Salas

What is Etiquette? What are it’s origins? Why is it important
for me in 2010?

Etiquette can be defined as the rules of conduct that are used in
social behaviour. They are the rules that govern and guide human conduct so that we may have a peaceful society where we show respect and consideration for others.

Etiquette is a French word that originally meant “sign” and was
used during the reign of Louis XIV. The story goes that the gardeners in the Palace of Versailles used to place “etiquettes”( signs or labels) around the beautiful gardens so that the nobles would not trample the flower beds. This goes along with the fact the King Louis XIV instituted the most elaborate court norms or
“etiquette“, which had to be rigorously kept by the nobles. King Louis XIV, reigned for 72 years and from the moment he got out of bed until he retired at night, he was attended by the leading nobles of his time, who each had very specific and elaborate duties to perform.

Of course, etiquette evolves within cultures and time periods.
Until the 1960’s the importance of good manners was quite
established in the United States and there were very well
known and recognized authors, such as Emily Post, who
wrote her first book on Etiquette in 1922 and founded her
Institute of Etiquette in 1946.

Until the l970’s both private and public schools, churches and
children’s groups taught good manners, but there has been a marked decline in the teaching of manners since then.
Since the 1990’s there has been a revival of Etiquette courses
and many articles in both local and national newspapers and
magazines indicating the fact that our society has become more
and more lax in the keeping of social conduct and good manners, both in our relation to others and in such an important place as the table.

It is our responsibility to foster and preserve good manners in our children and families. Good manners are a matter of habit, and they become so with repeated behaviour, which is required whenever we are in specific situations.
We, as adults, are often placed in situations where our doubts in terms of proper table etiquette can have really bad consequences. Imagine that you are having dinner with your boss and the subject of discussion is if you are ready for that next position in the corporate ladder.
Dinner begins, the waitress places the bread bun on a small plate to your left and another to your right. Are you sure which bread is yours? You want to start eating, but what if you eat your boss’ bread!
Don’t despair, we can all learn the rules of table etiquette.
Your bread is always on the bread plate to your LEFT!

You see, now, there is a piece of information that once you have learned it, will allow you to relax and have one less thing to worry about when you are having dinner with your boss, or the Queen of England for that matter.

Look for an etiquette school near you and give yourself and your children the gift of a lifetime by attending a table manners course!