Holiday Etiquette Reminders


What we have to do… is to find a way to celebrate our diversity and debate our differences without fracturing our communities.
~ Hillary Clinton

To make it through the holidays with your professionalism and dignity intact, there are some etiquette rules and concepts to keep in mind. I’ve elaborated on them in the past, so the following are reminders of these best practices in business and social etiquette, with links to my previous entries on the topics and the holiday etiquette involved:

Celebrate-and Honor-the Diversity of the Season

Although Christmas continues to dominate the season, other holidays are also celebrated and observed, such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and should be given the space and respect they deserve.

As well, the Islamic observance of Ramadan sometimes occurs in December, but it’s difficult to determine in advance due to the nature of the Islamic lunar calendar; determination is based on the expected visibility of the hilal (waxing crescent moon following a new moon) and may vary according to location.

Then, there is the Winter Solstice, which is celebrated this year on Sunday, December 21. Therefore, it’s expected that we show consideration to others and their particular observances.

Here is my previously published ode (parody) to the diversity of the December holidays.

Holiday Shopping

Holiday shopping should be fun, an annual event to remember fondly. Many stores are wonderlands just to walk through, without purchasing anything. Store windows such as those of Manhattan’s Lord & Taylor and Bergdorf Goodman are legendary, fascinating and heart-stoppingly beautiful. Visiting the Macy’s at Herald Square evokes memories of its storied past. As a child, teenager and young woman I recall spending many a holiday season being dazzled by the Christmas lights along Michigan Avenue, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, and roaming through the late, great Marshall Field’s on Chicago’s State Street!

When you get down to serious shopping, be considerate of other shoppers and store personnel; we’re all in this together, so some teamwork is necessary to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable shopping experience. For more tips on holiday shopping etiquette, check out my Holiday Shopping post on the subject.

Office Decorations

Speaking of diversity, when decorating your office, college dorm, community room, school and so on, remember to include all holiday celebrations and observances. Once again, here is one of my odes to “decking the halls,” along with tips on selecting office decorations.

Christmas Caroling

This is a Christmas tradition in which I’ve participated as an adolescent and adult. It’s a warm and wonderful way to spread holiday joy throughout your neighborhood or campus. Take a look at my post on this lovely holiday custom.

The Office Party

Of all the seasonal rituals this is the one that trips up many people and negatively impacts careers and reputations. The Grinch is really at work here, so understanding the real purpose of the office party — whether in the workplace, on campus or at school — and knowing the proper etiquette and protocol will serve you well. My post on The Holiday Office Party provides a road map on this important topic.

Gift Giving and Holiday Tipping

These are customs that can flummox many a giver and receiver of holiday gifts. Check out my post for tips on gift giving, tipping and re-gifting.

Home for the Holidays

Many college students and young professionals head to their parents’, grandparents’ or friends’ homes for the holidays. It’s important to be a good guest whether you’re visiting your family, friends or strangers. Please visit my Home for the Holidays post for etiquette guidelines on this topic.

Please share your holiday etiquette tips and experiences!

Until next time,


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