Etiquetteer's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Etiquetteer always likes to cast about for a few gift suggestions that will promote Perfect Propriety in one form or another. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this year’s gift guide is weighted heavily toward books and stationery. But you’ll find other items of interest in the And More! section at the bottom.



Who doesn’t love Jacqueline Kennedy, one of America’s most iconic First Ladies? Jake Gariepy at Dapper and Dreamy is a big fan, and he’s created beautiful notecards featuring ensembles from her official wardrobe. Set of eight different notecards for $20. Be sure to check out his other Jackie and White House designs, too!


For the horticulturalist in your life, or just your favorite flower child, consider this boxed set of four wildflower notecards from photographer Thomas S. Robinson at Zoomdak. $14.99 per box.


Good design marries vintage in these severely beautiful notecards from Crane featuring the famous Airstream camper. $24 per box of ten.


Place cards help with every dinner - people really do want to know there’s a place for them - and Etiquetteer finds these Audubon flamingo place cards from Caspari quite charming. $4.50 per set of eight.



One of the best reads this year for Perfect Propriety is Joseph Esposito’s Dinner in Camelot. His account of President and Mrs. Kennedy’s unprecedented (and Perfectly Proper) 1962 dinner for Nobel laureates recaptures an historic moment to which we must find a way to return. Read Etiquetteer’s review here.


Etiquetteer has admired the no-holds-barred work of Amy Alkon ever since her book Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck. Her newest book, UnF*ckology: A Field Guide to Living with Guts and Confidence, promises to be a breathtaking followup as she drives the self-help car through the intersection of etiquette and science.


Etiquetteer loved the rowdiness of Brunch Is Hell by Brendan Newnam and Rico Gagliano (read Etiquetteer’s review here), and it will make a wonderful gift for those who want to dip their toes into the waters of home entertaining but may be hung up on Perfection. (Please note: Perfection is different from Perfect Propriety.)


Of course the big event in the etiquette world is the release of the 19th edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette, lovingly updated by her great-great-grandchildren Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning. There’s no more Perfectly Proper gift for Those Who Are Getting Started as Grownups (e.g. graduates, newlyweds, and first-time home buyers). Check out their Awesome Etiquette podcast, too.


James Sherwood’s new book Jewelry for Gentlemen promises to please your peacocky pals. Read an excellent interview with the author by The Jewellery Editor. But remember the famous advice of the late Coco Chanel: put on everything you think is right, and then take one piece off.


For fans of Golden Age Hollywood, the hot new read is Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood by renowned “You Must Remember This” podcaster Karina Longworth. Etiquetteer is more than a little in love with the podcast, so of course the book will be riveting. We already know that Howard Hughes was NOT so Perfectly Proper with the ladies . . .


And for those who love to celebrate bad behavior - and you know who you are - there’s Ruth Goodman’s How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England: A Guide for Knaves, Fools, Harlots, Cuckolds, Drunkards, Liars, Thieves, and Braggarts. What a romp! “The author has a wicked taste for the objectionable and the wit to deliver it in a wholly enjoyable, even educational way,” according to Kirkus. Readers will enjoy finding 21st-century parallels and Tudor and Stuart English (bad) manners.


Last but far from least in the book category we have Drinking Like Ladies, a must-have for mixologists and those who love them. Misty Kalkofen and Kirsten Amann have assembled a mouth-watering lineup of drinks for that special hour between 5 and 7 PM. Just remember to keep your pinkies in.


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For something unique, especially for those who have recently purchased a new home, consider a custom house portrait by Jake Gariepy over at Dapper and Dreamy. You can be sure that no one else will have thought of it!


If you know someone who likes novelty and is also so stressed they’re clawing the ceiling, consider Honor Bath Tea from Sand Creek Restoratives. Etiquetteer, who still hasn’t scheduled that tour of Japenese onsen, was fascinated to see how Sand Creek has taken the traditional basic salt-and-soda bath to another level by adding a combination of herbs to it. $8 per sachet, and Sand Creek gladly donates 20% of all profits from this product to Project K-9 Hero.


In great-grandma’s day, a lady’s evening bag didn’t need to have anything in it but a hankie, a housekey, and “mad money” for a taxi (if needed). These days a smartphone serves for the latter, but too many ladies don’t consider the former. Bumblebee Linens offers a charming selection of handkerchiefs for ladies, and Etiquetteer is especially charmed by those embroidered in color. Prices vary.


Certainly we hear a lot more about politics than hitherto, so for the political gentleman in your life, consider the Preambler Bow Tie from Etiquetteer’s beloved Beau Ties Ltd. $55.

The holidays bring out sweets almost as much as Hallowe’en does, including some delicious old-fashioned favorites. Coconut bonbons from the Vermont Country Store may be enjoyed not only between the courses of a dinner party, but also in bed while wearing your favorite marabou-trimmed peignoir. $15.90.


Finally, because so many good things conclude with chocolate, Etiquetteer feels compelled to recommend the chocolate snowmen of Burdick’s Chocolates. A luxurious grace note for any holiday function! Box of nine for $40.