Family Gatherings

Why do we save our worst behavior for our families?

I guess we know they are “stuck” with us! Wouldn’t it be fun this year, if we could all decide to use our best manners, our best tone of voice, our most diplomatic answers for a tough family issue, or even just in conversation at the dinner table?

family gathering etiquette

Several years ago, we were all headed to West Texas to be with my husband’s family for Thanksgiving dinner. We passed through a small Texas town where I always enjoyed reading the “thoughts of the day” sign posted by a particular church each week. This Thanksgiving Day, it read:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones,

But words—Break Hearts!”

I’ve never forgotten that thought. How true that statement was, and is. Many people think good etiquette translates into “thinking you are above all the others.” Nothing is further from the truth. Etiquette is about kindness, first and foremost. That is much more important than which fork you use, or how you dress. In fact, the worst possible social faux pas you can make is to hurt someone’s feelings.

Words spoken can never be unsaid, and sometimes they are never forgotten.

However, words can also MEND hearts. This holiday season; let’s mince our words and mend some hearts, while we all enjoy the “feastivities”!