Salem Community Patriot
6 - December 18, 2009
Dazzle your guests with holiday etiquette tips 101
You’ve spent the entire day cooking the perfect holiday feast. But in proper manners and table settings. Based on the most frequently
it’s an hour before your guests arrive, and you find yourself standing
asked questions, Slatter offers this quick holiday etiquette 101 to give
in front of the table, listening to a little nagging voice in your head. you insight that will dazzle your guests.
Does the knife go on the left, fork on the right, or is it the other Set the perfect table
way around? Is that centerpiece too tall? Should I go ahead and put * Forks to the left, knives and spoons to the right. Only set out
food on table before guests arrive, or do I wait until everyone gets utensils that will be used for various courses. “If you’re not serving
here? soup or salad, you certainly don’t want an extra spoon or fork in
If you can’t answer those questions, don’t feel alone. In today’s your place setting,” Slatter says. “Not only will those get in the way,
eat-on-the-run world, you’re not the only one to flunk holiday eti- the extra utensils may confuse your guests.”
quette. * The bread plate goes on the left of the dinner plate, glasses on
“Table manners have become a lost art,” says etiquette expert the right.
Jill Slatter. “Think back 15 or 20 years ago, families gathered every * Wait to pour. Water glasses should be the only glasses filled
evening for a proper meal. But these days we’re all stretched so thin before your guests arrive. Iced tea, wine, and other beverages should
juggling work, school, and home, most folks don’t have time to sit be poured once everyone is seated. Wine should be filled halfway,
down together, so when holidays roll around, no one’s sure what to not to the rim.
do at a formal meal.” * Salad and bread should be the only food on the table when your
Slatter is an etiquette coach at Greensboro, NC-based Replace- guests arrive.
ments, Ltd., touted as the world’s largest supplier of old and new * Courses are generally served in the following order in the United
china, silver, crystal, and collectibles. The company is bombarded States: appetizer, soup, salad, main course, dessert.
with questions this time of year from folks looking for a crash course Are you the hostess with the mostest?
* Remember, the hostess always sits last.
* Unscented candles are a great part of holiday decor, but should
only be lit during the evening. “Another thing to keep in mind,
flickering candles are more than a distraction, those can cause head-
aches,” warns Slatter. “That’s why you never want to place burning
candles directly in front of your guest, and make sure you situate the
flame below eye level.”
* Centerpiece too tall? Sure those flowers you spent hours ar-
ranging are pretty, but will only get in the way if your guests have to
crane their necks to look at each other. Make sure your guests can
see over any table adornments.
* Passing isn’t just in football. Always pass food around the table
counter clockwise to the right and refrain from serving yourself first.
Always pass the salt and pepper as a set, even if you’re only asked
Be a gracious guest
* Avoid the smear. Female guests should blot their lips before sit-
ting down at the table. This will keep you from getting lipstick stains
on linen napkins or glassware.
* Wait for the signal. Your host will let you know when it’s okay to
call: 1-800-848-LOVE or 1-800-395-HELP
begin eating. They may make a prayer or statement or start by pass-
Knights Of Columbus
(5683) (4357) ing a dish.
* If you’re not sure which utensil to use with each course, start on
St. Patrick Council 6902 • 12 Main St. • Pelham, N.H. 03076
the outside and work in toward the plate.
* If you need to excuse yourself temporarily,
gently place your napkin in your chair.
*Signify you’re finished with the meal by placing
napkin to the left of the dinner plate, and your
fork and knife side by side diagonally across your
plate with the sharp side of the knife blade facing
inward and the fork tines down.
“One of the most panicked questions we hear
concerns what to do if you accidently break a
Kerry L. Nicolls
piece of the host’s dinnerware,” adds Slatter. “You
should certainly offer to replace the broken piece,
want to buy a
especially if it has sentimental value for the host or
house? Office: 603.635.3350 x 23
Slatter says don’t lose hope if your host doesn’t
know the name of the pattern or the manufac-
turer—you can always take advantage of Replace-
Warmest holiday wishes from your Real Estate
ments’ free pattern identification service.
Professional. May joy and peace be with you this
If you’re still in doubt about holiday etiquette
Holiday season and throughout the New Year.
101, a cheat sheet is just a mouse click away. You
can find place setting guides outlining the correct
layout for all meals at www.replacements.com
under the site’s “neat things” tab. With these tips in
mind, you’re sure to throw the perfect gathering.
Give your family the gift of music!
- Courtesy of ARAcontent
Centerpoint Community Church
Dec. 20, 10:00 AM
Worship: Christmas Is…
Dec. 20, 7:00 PM
Concert: Peace on Earth
Dec. 24, 6:00 PM
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
All are welcome
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