Calgary

Modern Manners etiquette class aims to teach Calgarians how to be good guests

Young people these days are not completely bad-mannered, but they may be a bit clueless. Arminé Tatosian is offering some classes as we head into the holiday season.

5 things you should always do at a holiday party

Calgarians can learn about dinner party etiquette at a new series of classes called "Modern Manners." (Getty Images/Hero Images)

Young people these days are not completely bad-mannered, but they may be a bit clueless.

Before moving to Calgary, Arminé Tatosian owned a interior decorating business in Toronto and worked as an event stylist. (Michael Graydon Pictures)

That's been the experience, at least, for Arminé Tatosian when socializing with Calgary's 20- to 30-year-old crowd. She moved from Toronto to Calgary this past summer and hosted a party shortly after her arrival.

"I did have a few young men over for dinner and they never called me back the next day to say thank you," said the interior decorator and stylist. 

"I didn't think they were being rude, I just don't think they knew any better."

That experience has put Tatosian on a mission to show Calgarians modern manners — which also happens to be the name of a series of classes she's teaching Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 at DaDe ART & DESIGN LAB.

"I am not thinking of 'old-school' etiquette, but something more suited to our community and current lifestyle," she said.

1. Bring a gift

Tatosian says you should never walk into someone's home empty-handed. Always bring a small, thoughtful or even homemade gift — even if you were told you not to bring anything.

Wine is always a great gift, but you should not expect the host to open and enjoy it with you. Tatosian says often a host or hostess will already have chose a wine to pair with the food he or she is serving.

She also does not recommend bringing cut flowers as a gift.

"It takes away from the hostess to find a vase and prepare it. And at the same time, she may have her own flowers and theme happening and it could clash," said Tatosian.

If you would like to send flowers, consider doing this before or after the party.  

2. Be warm and friendly

Introduce yourself to any guests you have not met before.

3. Unplug

Turn your cellphone off before you arrive and don't bring it with you to the table.

4. Wait to be seated

Before you park yourself for the evening, always wait for the host or hostess to first take a seat — unless you are told otherwise.

5. Give thanks

Keep in mind that your host or hostess probably took a great amount of time, effort and expense creating an enjoyable experience for you, says Tatosian.

That's why she says it's "very important" to take the time to acknowledge them a day or two after the event.

While most people appreciate receiving a card in the mail, it's not mandatory or expected. A phone call, email or text will also do the trick.

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