When to send online invites and other holiday etiquette tips

WASHINGTON – The holiday season is in full swing. This year, you might be thinking about going digital when it comes to your communication. But is it okay to invite friends to your ugly-holiday-sweater party using Evite or some other online invitation service?

“Absolutely,” says Daniel Post Senning, the great-great-grandson of Emily Post. “It’s become part of our communication architecture and we want to use all the tools at our disposal to stay connected with the people that matter to us.”

So, does the same go for saying “thank you”? “Any way you can get someone a thanks is a good idea,” Senning says. “Of course it’s going to lend more weight, more significance … if you choose to hand-write that thank-you note,” he says.

And although it is the happiest time of the year, it can also be the most awkward time, because some people are torn about whether to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.”

The answer is simple, says Senning: “When I’m talking to a general audience or thinking professionally, I like to wish people a ‘Happy Holidays.’ It’s inclusive of everyone you might be talking to.”

But when it’s a more personal situation, go ahead and wish your Christian friend a Merry Christmas or your Jewish friend a Happy Hanukkah.

“I’m really flattered and I’m really honored when someone from a different faith tradition wishes me a happy holiday in their tradition. I find that kind of exciting,” says Senning.

See? There’s nothing to get offended about when you’re on the receiving end.

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