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Archive for May 2011

Minding Your P’s & Q’s: 4 Tips on Graduation Etiquette

Minding Your P’s & Q’s: 4 tips on Graduation Etiquette

Tis the season to celebrate graduation-a milestone in life’s journey- and that means ceremonies, parties and gift giving. If navigating the “do’s and don’ts and the wish I knew what to do” has you feeling like you’re wading through the alligator infested Okefenokee Etiquette Swamp, these four tips will help you.

1. Who gets an announcement and who gets an invitation to the ceremony?
A student usually gets a limited number of tickets for seats at the actual graduation ceremony. These invitations should be reserved for immediate family, including grandparents and should be sent out at least three to four weeks prior to the event, and for out of town relatives, six weeks. A more formal, printed announcement can be sent two weeks ahead of or after the event to extended family and friends. Some graduates design and create their own informal announcements. Although tempting to resort to a mass email, it is respectful to send printed announcements for such a momentous occasion.
2. Do I send a gift to everyone who sends me an announcement?
It is appropriate to give a gift, but not necessarily required. Most important is acknowledging the graduate’s accomplishment in some way, at least a congratulations card and note. A graduate always appreciates gifts, and many people automatically think of giving money. Your understanding of the family’s traditions and your relationship to the graduate will help you choose a meaningful present.
3. Graduation Parties: Invitations and RSVP’s.
A graduate’s family most often plans a party to celebrate this milestone. Invitations should be sent at least three weeks prior to the date of the party. Even if it is as casual as a drop by for an “Open House Celebration,” please, please, if you are invited to a party, RSVP as soon as possible. Some invitations may designate “Regrets only”. The hostess will be less stressed if the number of guests can be calculated. A note to the graduate: Please spend a little time with relatives or friends who have traveled from out of town to attend your celebration.
4. Thank You Notes: Absolutely!
A handwritten thank you note needs to be sent for each gift received. It doesn’t have to be long, but should acknowledge the gift and appreciation. Notes should be sent as promptly as possible. A generic- ” Thank you for the graduation gift”- borders on tacky. A thank you sent by email or text message are not considered appropriate.
Here is a helpful, delightful interview on graduation etiquette:
Graduation etiquette: Minding your manners: MyFoxBOSTON.com
Happy Graduation and Congratulations to all the graduates and your families! May your next journey in life be blessed with abundant joy!
Kathryn Barker

Drink your bloomin’ tea…

A Mother’s Day tea….or tea for Mother’s Day…

Since Mother’s Day seemed to come out of nowhere this year, I haven’t had time to plan the kind of tea party I like to have for a Mother’s Day celebration. My mother has become a vegetarian, often times vegan, in her elder years. The delectable cucumber sandwiches….aren’t there some fantastic recipes out there….are perfectly suited for her. With the addition of Pear-Pecan Scones and Lemon-Strawberry Jam Squares we have a menu for a delightful tea party!

Nice idea.

My reality: there isn’t time to organize and prepare. My mother, however is a tea lover.

My solution: gift of a Blooming Tea, sometimes called Artisan or Display Tea.











In Southwestern China, green and white teas, picked early in the morning while the dew is still on the leaves, are selected and sorted according to type and size. Tea leaves are shaped and formed around a blossom or petals artistically designed in the center and then tied with a silk or thin cotton thread. Each creation can take one to ten minutes to complete.

Using a glass tea pot or tea cup offers the most dramatic presentation……


Watching the leaves unfold to reveal their secret surprise is magical and mysterious….and sparks great conversation.

The tea is light and refreshing…very mild.

And the blooms can be preserved for several days if kept in cold water…..I like to use it as a centerpiece on the table.



Wouldn’t any mother be thrilled? She can feast her eyes and drink her bloomin’ tea!

May all your days be full of bloomin’ joy!

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Infusions,



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