According to Debrett’s, the bastion of British manners, many millions of us will fall foul of what they’ve proclaimed to be etiquette blunders this Christmas.
3 million of us will post pictures of presents to Instagram, 33 million will shun stationery for a text message thank you and 4 million will deconstruct hampers to re-gift their contents – all big no-nos in their book.
Now Sainsbury’s has teamed up with Debrett’s to help party-goers navigate the festive season with a guide to Christmas gift-giving and being the perfect host and guest.
To make sure you don’t make any blunders, here’s Sainsbury’s and Debrett’s guide to Christmas:
Saying thank you - The handwritten thank you letter may be on the decline but that doesn’t mean you can get away without a show of gratitude – if there’s no headed stationery available, then digital thanks are better than no thanks at all.
Bringing a bottle - Don’t expect to drink a bottle you bring to a party, but do be prepared to open one you’re given.
Social strife - Posting presents on social media is bad form, as well as unseemly gloating you could also risk outing a re-gifter.e-presenting: A hamper you won’t eat all of? Unfortunately, a re-gifted paté or jar of piccalilli just won’t cut the mustard when it comes to good gift-giving etiquette – splash out and buy them their own biscuits, luxury oils or box of chocolates.
Sweet treats - Christmas, sadly, doesn’t mean a free-for-all on confectionery for everyone. It’s polite to check with parents before unloading sweet treats on their children.
Alcoholic alternatives - You can’t go wrong with a bottle of booze, but make sure to put some thought into the choice – with cocktails on the rise, spirits can make a fun alternative to wine or whiskey, but stick to port for those traditionalists.
Bearing gifts - Always come bearing gifts. A bottle of wine or a box of chocolates are customary but if it’s a longer stay over Christmas think about something more substantial.
All wrapped up - You should wrap food and wine to elevate it from a practical contribution to a thoughtful gift.
Making a match - You can have a go at matching the wine to a meal if going over for dinner, but more importantly, just make sure you bring a bottle.
Culinary contribution - Do offer to make a culinary contribution, but stick to mince pies or biscuits – bringing your own lasagne might cause your host to take offence at the insinuation that their own food isn’t up to scratch.