To monogram or not to monogram? 

Good manners and proper etiquette are always important but they’re especially crucial during the Christmas season. In-laws travel to town, Yuletide parties ensue, and there are countless opportunities to commit a major etiquette faux pas. Yikes. But, fear not! Southern Living Editor Betsy Cribb sat down to share some of her tried and true holi-do’s and holi-don’ts this season.

To Monogram Or Not To Monogram

There’s an old saying, “if it ain’t moving, monogram it.” That is certainly not the case. If your hat has a pom-pom on top, we say skip the monogram – there’s already a lot going on. However, a monogramed Christmas ornament can be a thoughtful gift if you know the recipient is a fan of monograms.

Social Media Etiquette

It’s never a good idea to post photos of your Christmas presents online (unless it’s a puppy of course). Otherwise, it’s a bit, dare we say, tacky. Nobody is interested in seeing your new iPad, diamond earrings, or Louis Vuitton bag. If you want to post a cute photo of your friends and family, it’s always a good practice to ask for permission. You wouldn’t want an unflattering photo of you roaming the internet; give your loved ones the same curtesy.

Holiday Party Invitation Etiquette 

There is a polite way to decline a Christmas party invitation; you just have to do it nicely. Something along the lines of “hate that I can’t be there; hope you have a merry Christmas” is the perfect response. If you are invited by text message, a text message reply is perfectly acceptable. The same thing goes for email, but if you are sent a nice invitation in the mail, a phone call is the way to go.

Secret Santa & Tacky Christmas Sweaters

Christmas is one of the few times a year adults feel like they can throw a themed party, so just be a good sport and participate! When it comes to holiday gift-giving games, it’s important to stick to the set price limit. Otherwise, things will quickly get awkward.

Christmas Card Etiquette 

Instagram is the lazy man’s way to send out a Christmas card. Don’t do that. Friends and family really appreciate a lovely Christmas card in their mailbox (especially when holiday bills are also piling up).

Holiday House Guests

If you’re staying the night at a friend or family member’s house, it’s totally acceptable to ask for the WIFI password (after visiting for a while). Be sure not to overstay your welcome. If the host or hostess is cleaning up, that usually a sign you should hit the road. And, showing up with a simply hostess gift is a nice gesture.

Christmas Gift Etiquette

Every now and then, you’ll get a gift you’re not very excited about. That is the time to pull a Meryl Streep and give the best acting performance of your life. Smile and say thank you. If someone gives you a present, and you didn’t get them anything, don’t make excuses. Simple graciously accept. Of course, it’s always smart to have a stash wrapped, untagged presents for those situations.

Merry Christmas, y’all! And as always, keep it classy.