Want to have a fabulous holiday season this year? Try having exceptional manners from the heart!
Good manners come in many forms; they start in the heart of the giver and end in the life of the recipient forever. From the smallest gesture to the most elaborate plan we can light a manners flame that ignites into the spreading of a kindness wildfire.
This Christmas and holiday season forgo at least one gift and give to those who are in desperate need. Give the monetary amount of the gift to the local food bank or homeless shelter. Deliver it in person and ask how you can help out. How about getting a group of friends to lend a helping hand in these areas. Life changes for everyone when we get involved in improving the lives of others. Even the smallest of gestures can warm the frostiest of hearts. Words of encouragement, and sincere smiles cost nothing but gives much. It takes but a moment, and the memory of it can last forever.
While you will be invited to and attending many parties this season, show your kindness by replying early to the invitation, showing up on time with a well thought-out hostess gift and sending a thank-you note to the hostess the following day.
If you are the hostess, it is thoughtful to send a save-the-date as early as possible for your upcoming party and remember to send the invitation at least three weeks in advance. Welcome each of your guests at the door, and thank them for attending as they leave. Remember never to open your hostess gifts until after the party is over. Hopefully, each guest has included a sincere thank-you note card in each gift bag so you will know from whom the gift was given. Also, note to self: this is the only time you will never need to write a thank you note for a gift. This would be considered a thank-you note for a thank-you gift – not needed.
Homemade gifts are the most special. One of my favorite gifts to receive is homemade bread wrapped in a big red bow. Breakfast bread, banana bread, pumpkin bread any kind will do. What a great treat for neighbors that you barely know, or make it an addition to gifts to hairdressers, nail technicians, or anyone on your maintenance team. Also, surprise those who least expect it with a gift. Remember: we are nice even to those who are not necessarily nice to us, we give a gift - not because of their actions, but because of who we are inside. Note to the world: We must learn to be un-offendable and show kindness regardless of how others treat us.
Another way to be fabulous this holiday season is to be first to send out Christmas & holiday cards and gifts. If you are sending a client gift – deliver it immediately after Thanksgiving. If you are sending family gifts in the mail – have them sent at the top of December to be under the tree the entire season. It sends a message to the recipient that they are special and at the top of your mind and gift-giving list.
As a side note: for those whose birthdays falls in December. Never combine their birthday gift and Christmas gift together. Make a point to celebrate their birthday with a completely separate gift and party. They will love you forever for not connecting the two special occasions as one big event.
One last tip, but it is a biggie! I want to plant this seed into your head that you will hopefully never forget - here goes: Remember those who are single, who have lost loved ones, or who are alone. I have been all three at one point or another and the holidays are no fun when you are alone and lonely. It is best to keep the communication going throughout the holidays, invite those to parties, surprise them with a gift, and never make them feel like you feel so sorry for them. Talk normally and add laughter and fun into their lives.
Now that we have our manners and our hearts on the same page – let’s be fabulous all together – CHEERS to everyone!
Joy Weaver is a renowned etiquette expert and author of “Just Ask Joy… How to Be Socially Savvy in All Situations”—a book highly endorsed by Jean and Zig Ziglar. Joy represents designer Joseph Ribkoff and is a regular guest on ABC’s Good Morning Texas. She is nationally published and has been featured on ABC’s The View, in the Associated Press, New York Times, USA Today, Southern Living Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and The Dallas Business Journal. Protocol Enterprises/Just Ask Joy is based in Dallas and has served clients across the country since 2000. You can learn more at www.justaskjoy.com
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