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The Etiquette of Being Home For The Holidays

Hilarie Blaney Modified: July 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm •  Published: November 24, 2010

Whether you are flying to “meet the parents”, driving on the interstate, or seated next to Cousin Eddie, there are a few holiday etiquette tips that always bear repeating.

When you’re flying the friendly skies:

1)  Don’t be an armrest hog.  Please share with the passenger in the middle seat!

2)  When filing out of the plane, one row at a time is proper. Don’t try to run down the aisle to be the first off the plane. In the grand scheme of things, saving 5 minutes won’t make a difference.

3)  Traveling with children can be stressful, but avoid letting your children become stressful to others by stopping them from kicking the seats in front of them and being overly noisy.

4)  Don’t forget to flush! Never “let it mellow” on an airplane. In the lavatory, drain your water out of the basin for the next person, and be sure to wipe the seat!

5)  In the airport, remember to walk to the right, rather than down the middle of the terminals. Texting & walking is trouble – wait until you’re standing in line or seated at your gate. On moving walkways, stand to the right and pass on the left!

While traveling to a funeral this week, my friend’s lovely mother was described as a “visitor.”  She took the time to “visit” with the people next to her on the plane.  You never know who you may meet in this small world!

When you’re on the road:

1)  Etiquette is about expectations! Be sure you use your blinker so the other drivers know your intentions.

2)  Ask your kids to put their phones away and actually have some quality family talk.  Share stories about earlier family holidays and traditions.  Blackberries don’t grow up, but kids do.

3)  Most importantly: Don’t text and drive! If it is important enough to risk your life and the lives of your passengers, pull over to send the text.

Around the table:

1)  When eating family style, holding the turkey platter, offer some to Cousin Eddie, keep the platter and then pass all food to the right.

2)  Salt and pepper are married; please pass them together, and always to the right.

3)  Have the kids help set the table! A quick way to teach proper placement of the fork (the left) and knife, spoon, glass (the right) is: “‘Fork’ and ’left’ have 4 letters, ’knife’, ’spoon’, ’glass’ and ’right’ have 5 letters.”

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