Does your family need a little refresher on table manners? (After all, we all could use a little brush up every now and again). Feel free to use my gentle tips listed below to help your holiday meal be the finest ever.
From our family to yours, may you have the most blessed holiday season ever.
- Always enter and exit the chair from left to right. Push chair under the table when leaving the table.
- Wait for host to pick up napkin first. If no host is designated, offer to be the host.
- Napkin is unfolded into a rectangle or triangle, with the folded side nearest your waist. Napkin is gently folded and placed at the left of the plate should you need to excuse yourself from the table. At the end of the meal, napkin is placed in same location—left of the plate. During the meal, use your napkin to gently wipe the corners of your mouth.
- BMW: this is the order of the table setting. Bread will be on your left; Main Course will be in the center and Water will be on the right.
- Use your silverware from the outside in. Once you pick up a utensil, the utensil will not be placed on the table again. Knives are placed at the top of the dinner plate in a ‘T’. Bread and butter knife will be in a cross angle on the bread and butter plate.
- If a slice of lemon is place on your glass, use your fork to pierce the lemon and place it into your water. If you do not care to have the lemon in your water, place the lemon on the bread and butter plate. Since you have now used your fork, place it onto to your dinner plate (on the left).
- Practice taking the food to your face, rather than vice versa. It is okay to lean a bit.
- Resting position of silverware during the meal: at a slight angle, with the fork and knife facing each other. Blade side of knife toward you.
- Finished position of silverware. Fork is turned upside down. Knife, blade side turned in. Both fork and knife are placed at 5:00 position on the plate.
- Do not attempt to help wait staff by stacking dishes. This interrupts their rhythm. And they consider it an affront.
- Passing food: for bread basket, etc.: Person who is closest to the bread basket will reach to retrieve the basket. Then, the person will open the cloth on the basket, and hold it while the person on the left takes a piece of bread. Person will then take a piece of bread, and then will pass the basket right. The shortened version of this: offer left, pass right.
- Break off one piece of bread one bite at a time. This allows one to continue in a conversation more easily.
- Salt and pepper are always passed in a pair, even if a singular is asked for. Offer left, pass right.
- Always know everyone’s name at your table. [This helps the gastro intestinal process feel better.] Use self introductions if needed. No need to shake hands with people across the table from you.
- At the end of the meal, say good byes to everyone. This is the point at which to shake hands or hugs (if family).
- If you feel panicky, excuse yourself to the wash room and call Patricia: 515.577.8328.