INVITATIONS, Vol. 15, Issue 55

The Holiday Season will be with us shortly, and already Etiquetteer is hearing from readers with concerns about party invitations.

Dear Etiquetteer:

An invitation to a Christmas party was received from a Facebook "friend." Being that I have only met this person once and have not seen him since two years ago, would it be appropriate to attend the holiday party? I'm concerned that the person is using a large email list and really does not know me well if at all.

Dear Reticent:

It's entirely possible that your Facebook "friend"* would like to renew your acquaintance and has chosen to do so in this way. But if the guest list is an extremely large one (Etiquetteer is assuming that it's visible to you), well . . . that's not a very practical way to renew an acquaintance.

Now, Etiquetteer wants to know how much you want to renew an acquaintance. Since you seem uncomfortable with the idea of attending this large party, Etiquetteer would encourage you to decline the invitation. But if you think getting together with your Facebook "friend" would be pleasant, extend an invitation for the two of you to get together for coffee or drinks. This leaves you looking appreciative, and also setting the terms of reconnection in a way that appears more sincere and individual.

*It is sad how the valuable word "friend" has been devalued via social media, when "acquaintance," "colleague," "family," or even "frenemy" would be more accurate. That, alas, would probably lead to many people discovering that they had different ideas about their "friendships."

Do you have questions about Perfect Propriety over the holidays? Please contact Etiquetteer for assistance!