Janey Says: The Art To Christmas Day Etiquette

So, Christmas Day is nearly upon us and as much as we all want it to be a wonderful event for everyone, it takes a certain amount of good behaviour to make that happen.

24177191 - woman receiving gifts under christmas tree. black and white retro.

In my experience, both as a younger woman, and now moving forwards, I’ve found there is a certain art to making things as smooth as possible through the festivities. A certain etiquette; for the grown-up lady who has the wonderful advantage of not having to do a thing apart from being the charming charismatic guest.

This role is actually a vital one I believe – especially at Christmas.

I’m not quite there with all of this yet; Sure, I am grown up – but the rest is yet to happen!   I have had – as we all have – role models, and over the years have taken note of their behaviour.

As they’ve sort of been my mentors, I’ve – emerged (great way of making growing up sound more butterfly like don’t you think!) with a far greater understanding of what’s required, and why all women of all ages – but more as they age –  are just so fantastically brilliant.

Bringing everything to the party is what I’ve learned from these ladies.  Not in terms of material objects – although not one of them would arrive empty handed…there were always bottles of champagne and delicious chocolates; but more like being that wonderful person who looked amazing, and when walking into the room lightened even the most strained atmosphere.


She is the person who keeps the whole conversation light when the family feud is about to break out – and is the one who talks…listened rather – to the ancient deaf uncle unconditionally!

She never minds climbing into a freezing car to go to watch the hundreds of carol concerts…Midnight mass – that sort of thing, and more importantly – she never takes sides!

Finally, she never, ever, no matter how difficult it is, criticises her host.  Not even with ‘suggestions’ or ‘helpful hints’.


Etiquette is about many things – one of them being impartial and elegant in all matters, not just manners and how to hold a glass correctly.

My mother was one of these women which was why she was so adored not just by me – but by my children and all my friends.

She would laugh, and play all the stupid games.  She had hilarious stories of the past – and kept my children entertained endlessly with her terrible cheating at cards.

She instantly knew how to behave when a certain situation was brewing – and never arriving without a pair of rubber gloves should the need to disappear into the kitchen occur!


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