Brushing up on table manners for holiday meals
BATON ROUGE - With lots of holiday meals right around the corner, it's a good time to brush up on your table manners.
Our News 2 etiquette expert, Marthanne Calvi, offers these tips for people who want to show their best side this season.
- The meal begins when the host or hostess unfolds his or her napkin. This is your signal to do the same. Place your napkin on your lap, completely unfolded if it is a small luncheon napkin or in half, lengthwise, if it is a large dinner napkin. Do not shake it open.
- The napkin rests on the lap till the end of the meal.
- The host will signal the end of the meal by placing his or her napkin on the table. Once the meal is over, you too should place your napkin neatly on the table to the left of your dinner plate. (Do not refold your napkin, but don't wad it up, either.)
- Pass food from the left to the right. Do not stretch across the table, crossing other guests, to reach food or condiments.
- If another diner asks for the salt or pepper, pass both together, even if a table mate asks for only one of them. This is so dinner guests won't have to search for orphaned shakers.
- Set any passed item, whether it's the salt and pepper shakers, a bread basket, or a butter plate, directly on the table instead of passing hand-to-hand.
- Never intercept a pass. Snagging a roll out of the breadbasket or taking a shake of salt when it is en route to someone else is a no-no.
- Always use serving utensils to serve yourself, not your personal silverware
If you have any etiquette questions or topics you'd like Colvi to cover in a future segment, send them to RFlores@WBRZ.com.