Welcome to Part 2 of our series “The Art of Etiquette”! As women who seek to further God’s kingdom in our day-to-day lives, we are entrusted with the responsibility to govern the hearts of ourselves and our families. Whether you’re single, married, with children or an empty-nester, these simple and practical tips on behavior, manners, conduct and etiquette will inspire and encourage you to continue to serve the Lord with excellence.
Now, grab yourself a cup of tea and let’s journey together through “The Art of Etiquette”!
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let her show by good conduct that her works are done in the meekness of wisdom. | James 3:13
Etiquette Tip 4: Potluck Meals
We love potluck meals! Some of our favorite recipes are dishes that friends made for potlucks. From backyard barbecues to Life Group gatherings, many of us participate in potluck meals frequently. In your potluck experience have you ever noticed how some potlucks are a rousing success, but others seems to flop? This is because a potluck is a cooperative meal – meaning that everyone has to participate, and participate well, to ensure success. Here are a few tips to make your next potluck that rousing success!
- Hosting a potluck doesn’t excuse you from preparing and providing for your guests. 😉 Whether you provide the main dish or another significant part of the meal, make sure you’re not placing an undue burden on your guests to provide everything.
- Give your guests some direction on what to bring. Divide the meal into categories like appetizers, main dishes, sides or salads, desserts, and beverages, and ask your guests to bring a dish from a specific category.
- Be aware of the costs of items. Don’t expect a guest to provide an expensive food item for the whole crowd. For more expensive categories or food items, divide it amongst a few guests.
- If you’re invited to a potluck, the host and other guests are expecting you to help provide the contents of the meal. Make sure to bring a dish that other guests will enjoy, and is appropriate to the rest of the meal.
- Prepare enough food. It’s such a bummer when there’s not enough food for all the guests! A good rule of thumb is to prepare enough food for your family, plus some. If everyone follows this rule, there is plenty of food for all.
- When possible, take the time to prepare something, versus picking something packaged from the store. A homemade item is almost always more attractive than a store-bought one, and makes the meal more enjoyable for everyone.
- Bring your own trivet and serving utensils. Depending on the size or location of the gathering, your host may not have enough trivets or utensils for all the dishes. Take that burden off your host by providing your own.
- Bring the dish ready to serve. If your dish needs to be chilled, heated up, or otherwise prepared, check in with host ahead of time to make sure there is time or space to finish your dish.
- Provide a list of ingredients. Many struggle with food allergies and sensitivities. By making a list of ingredients included in your dish, people can quickly and easily see if they can enjoy your dish.
Potlucks are a great way to sample new dishes, find new favorite recipes, and enjoy a delicious meal that you didn’t have to prepare all yourself. Just make sure you’re a great host or guest that others want to share a meal with in the future!
Etiquette Tip 5: Introductions
- When meeting someone for the first time, mom taught us to give our full name. Instead of just saying, “Hi, I’m Jane!”, consider, “Hi, I’m Jane Smith!”.
- If you are doing the introductions, always introduce the females first, then males. Likewise, if you are introducing a much older person to a younger person, give preference to the older person first.
- Make eye contact when introducing yourself or your guests.
- Remember, a proper handshake is done with the right hand.
- Tip: If you struggle with remembering names, try using your new acquaintance’s name at least twice before parting ways. For example, once introduced you might say, “It’s good to meet you, Mary.” And before parting ways you might say, “Have a good day, Mary.” This will help you remember them the next time you meet!
Etiquette Tip 6: Gratitude
Did someone take time out of their day to celebrate you? Honor you with a gift? That gift at least deserves a formal “thank you”. If you had a party thrown in your honor, and gifts were given, then the most considerate thing you can do is show your gratitude with a hand-written note. Does it have to be sent within the first week? No. But certainly within a 1-3 month window, a gift should be acknowledged with a sincere thank you note. And, for you newly weds, this rule of thumb goes for you as well, although depending on how many you have to write there’s plenty of grace! Check out this super helpful Complete Guide To Wedding Thank You Notes.
Susanna Spell + Jeannie Print