Holiday Cards and Other Correspondence, Vol. 4, Issue 52

Dear Etiquetteer:With all this “national dialogue” about how Christians have to take back Christmas, what’s your take on mailing Christmas cards to non-Christians. I always feel uncomfortable sending Christmas cards to Jews I know, but then some of them surprise me by celebrating Christmas with a tree and gifts. Please let me know what you think. Dear Thoughtful:Christmas does need saving, but not from the politically correct dogma you might think. To Etiquetteer, thoughtful Christians should turn their efforts to saving Christmas from the Retail Frenzy that grips our Great Nation every winter. Already the news stories have come in of riots at big box stores from people coming to blows over the last available [Insert Highly Desirable Toy or Computer Here]. That is NOT Perfectly Proper behavior, and it certainly isn’t good everyday Christian manners. Stop it at once.But you were asking mostly about Christmas cards. Other etiquette experts disagree, but Etiquetteer strongly believes that one should not send Christmas cards to those whose religion is other than Christian, whether they celebrate Christmas or not. One sends one’s Jewish friends Hanukkah cards, and Kwanzaa cards to those who celebrate Kwanzaa. Etiquetteer fancies that pagans and others might welcome a generic “Happy Holidays” card that didn’t have blatant red-and-green Christmas imagery all over it.Of course there is a VERY elegant way to avoid this whole hullaballoo, and Etiquetteer doesn’t know why more people don’t do it. Send New Year’s greetings to everyone instead of holiday greetings! These have an added advantage: you may mail them as late as January 6!

Dear Etiquetteer:A kind gentleman conducted an interview with me one month ago. Immediately after the interview I forgot to thank my interviewer, much as I had intended to send a card. The interview was for something whose acceptance letter is due earliest by February, but it seems inappropriate to thank my interviewer only after receiving a reply; yet, I am incredibly late. What is the most proper and polite thing to do now?Dear Carded:Etiquetteer’s dear mother has always said “Better late than never.” The later one is, however, the more oomph needs to be put into the communication. This is especially true in your situation, which Etiquetteer can tell involves admission to a college. Most of the “kind gentlemen” you mention, and a greater than or equal number of kind ladies, too, volunteer their time to interview prospective students like yourself. So by all means, get that letter out today! – don’t even go to bed until you’ve finished it – and thank your interviewer for his time, attention to your case, and service to his alma mater. Please don’t use some frilly greeting card. Grown-up business stationery is most Perfectly Proper here.Etiquetteer wishes you all the best in your admissions adventures!

Dear Etiquetteer:What do YOU want for Christmas?Dear Presenting:Aren’t you sweet for asking! Thank you! All Etiquetteer wants is a world of Perfect Propriety for all, where the Wicked and Evil are confounded, where women know not to wear sequins before 5:00 PM, where gentlemen remember to hold the door, and where cell phones are perpetually set to vibrate.

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