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20-40-60 Etiquette: How about houseguests?

How do you entertain houseguests, especially your in-laws? 20-40-60 Etiquette answers, with Kathy Walker as guest.
by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman Published: October 14, 2012

The nicest time I ever had with in-laws was a long weekend with them. They took us to a European Christmas Market which was unique for their city. It was so much fun! They took us to their favorite German restaurant. It was delightful!

They also prepared the best gourmet dinner I have ever had — Beef Wellington. And they took time to see that it was prepared perfectly. They certainly won me over with such loving attention and I have never forgotten it.

GUEST'S ANSWER: Kathy Walker, local volunteer and community leader: It can be a wonderful feeling to know that your new in-laws will be arriving for a visit. Planning for their visit can make a tremendous difference in the outcome!

Depending on the duration of the visit and the age and physical abilities of the relatives, whether it is a weekend visit or a visit for two weeks, and whether children are involved, parameters can be set and met by both parties.

As far as meals are concerned, breakfast is easy; lunch could be a picnic on one day and another at a museum during a visit to an exhibition. One dinner could be a family cook-off and another dinner could include your inviting friends or other relatives to be at the table.

A daily itinerary would be a good way to offer a plan with options. It would be kind of you to take your in-laws in your car to planned outings. However, if your in-laws are visiting for more than three days, perhaps they could arrange for their own rental car or hire a car service. Also, remember that much can be accomplished on foot, particularly if one lives in or near a city.

Otherwise, what about taking your in-laws on a long walk after your breakfast, lunch or dinner? Nothing could be better for the soul or for conversation.

Callie Gordon is 20-something; Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s; and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. You'll also find a guest answer. To ask an etiquette question, email For more 20-40-60 etiquette, go to

by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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