Metro-East Living

Consider sending ‘Save the date’ cards now for upcoming holiday parties

Dianne Isbell
Dianne Isbell

Q. How far ahead should you send out invitations for an Open House during the Christmas holidays? It’s so busy around that time so my husband and I want to make sure our guests don’t schedule a party of their own or accept another invitation on the date we are setting.

A. You are indeed correct regarding how busy the social scene becomes during the Christmas holidays.

Here are the basic rules:

If it is a formal event such as a wedding or anniversary party, invitations are mailed six to eight weeks in advance.

Having said that, there is another option and that is to send “Save the Date” cards which is appropriate for a formal event such as a wedding, but also for a social event, especially when the date is in the middle of a very busy time of the year. Those cards can be sent out now. It does not have to have all the details, but the specifics of where and when and why would be appropriate.

You will be advised by some etiquette experts that you can also call your guests to give them a “heads up” or send an email. I do not feel this is the most appropriate method because:

1) Not everyone has a pen and paper near their phone to write down the date and may forget to do it after they hang up the phone or even later in the day.

2) Most everyone receives many, many emails every day. Once again, the recipient may open the email, read it quickly, but will possibly feel uncomfortable responding because it is too early to know what their social schedule is for the holidays. In addition, if the recipient does not immediately place the date on a calendar, the email may be completely forgotten or lost in the zillion emails received the rest of the month.

3) A card is something which can be held in your hand and placed in a calendar or social event folder. It is then much easier to post in on your calendar, as well as have it to refer to later.

Q. Is it proper for 5- to 7-year-old little girls to wear lipstick when going to another little girl’s birthday party. My granddaughter threw a fit when her mother would not let her wear lipstick to a recent birthday party for one of her little friends. However, my daughter tells me when she dropped off her daughter at the party, she saw there were a couple of other little girls there wearing lipstick, and some not. What’s your opinion?

A. I totally agree with you and your daughter that little girls (and that is what they are: little girls) are too young to wear any kind of makeup.

Dianne Isbell: