Christmas Holiday Gift Giving

Gift givingChristmas holiday gift giving is a custom filled with noble intentions that sometimes have the unintended effect of sapping the cheer from shoppers. At Christmastime, we set out to choose gifts that show our affection and appreciation, but the process of finding the perfect gift can create stress. That said, to help get you started we have some tips for you to keep your holiday gift giving pleasurable and stress free!

Keep the holiday cheer in your gift giving with these simple tips:

  • Start early – don’t leave your shopping to the last minute hoping that the perfect gift will materialize. You will end up amongst thousands of other frenzied shoppers abandoning your budget, forgetting your good intentions, and buying anything you can find.
  • Create a budget and stick to it. Holiday gifts don’t have to cost a lot to be meaningful and valued by the recipient.
  • Make it personal. Before you head to the mall, spend some time thinking about each person on your list – What are their interests? What could they use?
  • A word of caution for on-line shoppers. Order early to avoid the item being, “Out of Stock.”

Still not sure what to buy? The following list of gift suggestions and ideas may help get you started as you think about the loved ones on your list:

For the avid reader

  • Books. Of course, if you don’t know what genre they prefer or what they have already read, consider a gift card for a bookstore.
  • For a book lover who has a long commute, consider an audio book they can play while driving.
  • Bookmarks are available in a range of unique styles and quality and make wonderful small gifts, stocking-stuffers, or gift tags.
  • Out-of-print and collector editions would be treasured by the book collector in your life.

For teens and young adults

  • Anyone who has recently started driving would appreciate a gas card.
  • For the University student, a gift card to the University book store may be appreciated.
  • Gift card to a favourite coffee shop.
  • Gift card to their favourite clothing store.
  • A pre-paid Visa/MasterCard to purchase their own gift of choice.
  • Dinner and movie tickets.
  • For those who ski or snowboard, a day pass/tickets for the local hill.

Elderly relatives or parents

  • Lambskin slippers.
  • Blanket wrap or house jacket.
  • Silver photo frame with a special photo of a special memory, perhaps, or an updated photo of your family.

Family and close friends who live far away or overseas

  • Calendar or picture book of the area where you live.
  • A photo montage of your family during the year. Photos can now be easily added to calendars, DVDs, mugs, and other items.
  • Souvenir ornament that highlights a meaningful special event or yearly marker.
  • A food item or treat that is only available in the area where you live.

For the host/hostess

  • Seasonal bouquet or table centerpiece.
  • A fine wine or after-dinner liqueur.
  • Specialty chocolates or cookies.

Other alternatives

  • Donations to your favourite charity instead of giving gifts to others (it’s good etiquette to let people know you are doing this; mention it in a Christmas card or make a special card).
  • Giving the valuable gift of your time speaks volumes.

We hope this gives you ideas. If you would like to know more about Christmas traditions, ask James Cooper at He is a hive of information!

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Radio Interview: Halloween Etiquette

News 1130

Halloween vs The Etiquette Expert: The Reckoning

by Mike Lloyd

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – You know what’s scary? Misjudging your Halloween party hosts this weekend and wearing the wrong costume!

Is it a no-holds-barred, adults-only kind of party — or maybe something a little more family friendly? Etiquette expert Elizabeth Burnett suggests you should probably figure that out ahead of time.

“If you’re hosting a party, be clear with your invitation if it is a family, adult or gathering for all,” says the owner of Elizabeth Etiquette.

“If you’re attending, take a little time to think about your costume and dress appropriately for the party. Is it for work or is it a gathering of friends? Should your costume be a little more conservative or can you really go wild with the makeup?”

If you’re unsure, Burnett has a rule of thumb:

“Don’t expose too much skin and don’t expose too little,” she tells NEWS 1130, suggesting full face and body costumes should have some kind of opening to allow your hosts or trick-or-treaters to know who’s behind the mask.

Read the full interview »

. . . .

Halloween Etiquette Tips

Halloween Etiquette Tips

As Halloween approaches, you may be wondering if there are any etiquette rules for Halloween. You will be happy to know that, as with most communal occasions, there is. In fact, there are two sets of etiquette rules: one for those costumed trick-or-treaters and another for people distributing the treats.

Our tips this month provide some guidelines for all those little ghouls and goblins as they parade from house to house, as well as for the people at the houses handing out treats.

Read my interview on News 1130 »

Read more »

Teaching Gratitude to Children

Gratitude is an important life skill that can have a lifelong impact on overall happiness and life satisfaction.

Boy thank youNot only does it foster feelings of empathy and consideration for others, but it reduces feelings of entitlement and chronic disappointment all too common in our busy, self-indulged society. Nonetheless, teaching children to be grateful can be challenging.

Simply saying “Please” and “Thank You” and sending thank you cards is not the same as being grateful; although you might do those things, and good etiquette suggests that you should.

Gratitude results when you notice and appreciate what you have. Unfortunately, many people don’t notice what they have until it’s gone and the tricky part of teaching gratitude is encouraging children to appreciate what they have without feeling guilty for having it.

Try the following suggestions for encouraging your children to notice and appreciate what they have.

Be a Good Role Model

Children learn much more through observation than from being told so make sure you model gratitude. Say “Please” and “Thank you” to your children, let them see you happily writing thank you cards, and express your appreciation for what you have often.

Read more »

Etiquette Training for Miss BC 2017

Miss BC 2017 crowning

Congratulations to all!
Miss BC 2017

It is my pleasure to announce that Elizabeth Etiquette was once again the official etiquette trainer for Miss BC, Mrs BC and Miss Teen BC this year. During the three-day event in July all of the participants were provided with professional training in areas such as public speaking, community development, health, fitness and nutrition, choreography, assertiveness training, media relations, self-defense and more.

Applications for Miss, Miss Teen, Mrs. and Junior Miss BC 2018 are now being accepted. Visit Miss BC website »

Also, as part of the 15th Anniversary celebration, the Miss, Miss Teen and Mrs BC Pageant created a new category: Junior Miss BC*.

*Girls aged 9-12 were invited to participate in this exciting event, where each participant received professional training in areas such as public speaking, manners and etiquette, anti-bullying and online safety, positive body images and vision boards, community involvement and more.

Read more »

Instant Text Messaging Etiquette

Holding phoneText messages, e-mails, and instant messages are the most common forms, today, of sharing news and communicating with others on a daily basis. The messages are brief and use an abbreviated form of English. They can also be a quick and fun way to contact family and friends. However, there are some drawbacks that one should be aware of.

Here is the etiquette for the use of instant messaging:

  • One can get carried away with texting and e-mails, and waste hours instant messaging when they could be doing productive activities
  • It is not polite to text our friends when it causes us to ignore the people we are with
  • Spending time with family, in school, attending activities, participating in a sport, sitting down to a meal, socializing in a group, or watching a movie are NOT times to start sending messages
  • It is polite to give our undivided attention to the people we are with.
  • We use clipped grammar when we write text messages, but that does not mean we can discard good grammar. Good grammar is vital to good communication and should be a priority when speaking and in the written word

Note: Nothing replaces good face-to-face communication. Part of the fun of life is being with people and sharing.

And don’t forget to remember your manners when texting in public.

Sharing Something

Life is sharingSharing is when you allow someone to use something of yours or when you use something that belongs to someone else. The etiquette rules for sharing are:

  • Ask before you take
  • Say, “Please, thank you and you’re welcome”
  • It is polite to “take turns”
  • When you are the person borrowing an item, make sure you treat the item with care and not damage it in any way
  • Return the item when the person you are borrowing from says they want it back
  • Make sure you hand the item back to the person. Do not just “leave it somewhere’’
  • Do NOT ever lend something to someone, when the item is not yours

NOTE: Sharing shows a generous spirit that is a really nice trait to possess.

Remember Your Manners When Texting in Public

While out at a restaurant to other day, I happened to notice a small group of people at another table. They were chatting together while waiting for their meals to arrive.

Suddenly, a cell phone chirped and one of the people in the group checked their phone, chuckled at a text message they had received, and then, without a word to the others, typed a response to the message and placed the phone on the table before returning to the conversation.

“the situation reminded me of two people whispering to each other while in the company of a larger group of people”

A few moments later, the phone chirped again and the person responded to another message while ignoring the people at their table. This routine repeated itself at regular intervals throughout their meal.

Technology aside, the situation reminded me of two people whispering to each other while in the company of a larger group of people. Holding a private conversation, whether through text or in hushed tones, while in the presence of others is extremely poor manners and is disrespectful to the people you are with.

Good etiquette requires that when you are with other people, you turn off your cell phone and text messaging. If you are waiting for an urgent message and must respond, excuse yourself from the group and find a quiet location to respond to the message. If more discussion is needed, it is best to call the person to resolve the issue rather than letting text messages continue to disrupt the people you are with.

Garage Sale Etiquette

Garage saleIt’s that spring cleaning time of year. Time to clear the closets, basements and attics! What better way to do so, than hosting a garage sale. But remember, one person’s garbage is another person’s treasure. So whether you are hosting a garage sale or attending a garage sale, here are some etiquette tips to keep in mind.

Hosting a Garage Sale

  • Be respectful of your neighbors
  • Let your neighbors know you are having a garage sale
  • Invite your neighbors to participate and make it a multi-family/community garage sale
  • Avoid confrontation – tag “Sold” items with customer’s name and number for later pick up
  • As an added incentive, offer delivery for larger loads – for a nominal fee
  • Prepare for changes in the weather – have tarps on hand
  • Hospitality is key – offer refreshments to keep people browsing and buying
  • Smile – greet everyone with a warm welcome

NOTE: Beware of fraudsters. Know how to recognize counterfeit bills.

SIGNS: How will your garage sale stand out? Post notices on Craigslist and post flyers around the community. However, as a common courtesy after the sale has ended; remove all posts online and flyers.

Garage sale peopleAttending a Garage Sale

  • Parking – be respectful of the neighborhood and do not block driveways or other vehicles
  • Respect the host’s property and stay within the boundaries of the garage sale (in other words, do not wander around the property)
  • Take cash with lots of change
  • If you really want to buy something, hold on to it. Putting an item back down and leaving it is fair game
  • Careful handling of fragile items – just like in the shops, if broken, consider it sold
  • Don’t be pushy – be respectful of other customers browsing the sale.

At Elizabeth Etiquette we wish you success whether you are buying or selling!

Good Study Habits

Boy reading

  • Be organized with an Exam Schedule, Reading Assignment Log and Study Planner, so you can keep track of all the topics and reading material you will need for your tests and exams.
  • Find a quiet place to study where there are no distractions such as television, music, or other background noise. If you don’t need your computer, shut it down! Otherwise you may be tempted to play games, or check e-mails.
  • Clear the clutter, giving yourself lots of space to work.
  • Sharpen pencils and make sure you have ample paper for notes.
  • Drinking water will keep you refreshed, so fill your water bottle before you start to study.
  • Only gather the books and things you will need for the test, or exam you are focusing on.
  • Put a “Please Do Not Disturb” sign on your door.

Study ☺.

Plkease do not disturb

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