Easter, the Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection, is celebrated throughout the world at churches and around the table with family and friends.
In our current era of diversity, it is sometimes difficult to know what to do, or not, when gathering to eat.
To avoid embarrassment this Easter weekend, here is a quiz to inform and entertain you whether you are a host or a guest.
1. Asking guests about allergies is the host’s responsibility.
2. When invited for a meal, arriving 15 minutes late is acceptable.
3. Which of the following are not ideal host gifts (include as many as you wish)?
C) Seasonally themed serving dishes, utensils and kitchen linens
D) A homemade dessert
E) An herb garden
4. When setting the table, place the glass:
A) On the left
B) In the middle
C) On the right
D) It depends if your guest is left- or right-handed
5. Once invited to the table, place your cell phone:
A) Face down, so as not to disturb other guests
B) On silent mode and out of sight
C) On your lap so you may discreetly text
6. After being seated, it is OK to eat bread while waiting for the meal to start.
7. When toasting, all guests must clink glasses and look at each other in the eyes.
8. When passing an item to another table guest, you will circulate it:
A) To the left
B) To the right
9. When invited, you must finish everything on your plate.
10. When drinking tea, it is proper to keep your pinkie up while holding your cup.
1. A) False. The responsibility of allergies is the guest’s. Although it is gracious of a host to ask, it is the guest’s responsibility. Note: as a guest it never appropriate to ask what will be served nor to inform your host of dislikes and temporary diet restrictions.
2. B) False. Punctuality is cultural, and generally in Canada one is expected to arrive on time. If you will be delayed more that 10 minutes, call you host. Don’t text or email.
3. A), B) and D). Flowers are best sent ahead or after an invitation. This way your host will not have to scramble to incorporate your gift into the decor. A bottle of wine is discouraged as your host has already made his wine and meal pairing. A sweet treat may not be appropriate for a family member or guest that is diabetic. Always check with your host first before bringing any food.
4. C) On the right. When setting the table, use the acronym B.M.W.; B-read, M-eal, W-ater or W-ine glasses. So all family members can help set the table, print this infographic and stick it inside your kitchen cupboard.
5. B) On silent mode and out of sight, is the only acceptable answer. Interacting with your techno gadgets at the table is like bringing an uninvited guest to dinner.
6. A) False. As a guest you must wait for the host to place the napkin on their knees and signal the start of the meal. Bread is not an appetizer. It accompanies the meal.
7. A) False. Although the sound of fine crystal glasses clinking may be lovely and could dissipate evil spirits, it is bad news for glassware and your host. It could be unsafe and expensive; glasses could crack or break. Look but don’t clink.
8. B) To the right. Unlike Beyoncé who sings “To the left,” table etiquette dictates that you circulate all foods and condiments to the right. Note: salt and pepper should always be passed together.
9. B) False. In Canada, you are not obligated to eat everything on your plate. Whereas in China, you must leave a little food on your plate, to show that you are satiated.
10. B) False. Originally tea was served in thimbles of porcelain that did not have any handles. To gain balance, one would need to hold it with pinkie up. These days the tea cup is held in the right hand with the thumb at the front and the index and forefinger at back of the handle. Find out more about afternoon tea etiquette in this previous blog post.
Wanna find out more about dining etiquette? Read “The Ten Commandments of Easter Dining.”
Have a Happy Easter making memories with loved ones!
Want more solutions? Visit Julie’s website, like her Facebook page, follow her onTwitter and here in the Huffington Post. Order your autographed copy of Etiquette: Confidence & Credibility. Or, invite her to facilitate a workshop for your team. “Bye-bye embarrassment and faux-pas. Hello confidence and credibility.”