Entertaining

This Book + Your Kid = Table Manners, Tiffany Style

tiffany's table manners book
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* Never say “Elbows off the table!” to your kid again
* Witty, illustrated guide to etiquette for all ages
* 50th Anniversary Hardcover Edition makes an affordable and presentable gift

Do these phrases ring a little too familiar? “Elbows off the table!” “Are you even listening to me at all?” “Can you please put your phone away while we eat?”

In our always-on, always-connected-to-our-screens world, it’s ever more difficult to feel connected with one another. This holds especially true during what many consider the last real place left for family-together time: the dinner table. We get this, and we’ve got a real classic as a helpful (and fun) solution: “Tiffany’s Table Manners for Teenagers.”

Why we recommend it: for over 50 years, this little blue book has been helping parents guide teens, kids and friends alike to master the art of good table manners. Written in a witty, yet never-chiding tone by Walter Hoving, former chairman of Tiffany & Company, it’s a step-by-step introduction to all the basics, from the moment a meal begins, to the time the last plate is (carefully) put away.

Here’s some of the advice to get you into the book’s playful yet informative tone: “It is customary for the young man to help the young lady on his right to be seated.”

When you both have been seated, don’t look around like a startled beetle. Start talking to the young lady on your left.

Remember that a dinner party is not a funeral, nor has your hostess invited you because she thinks you are in dire need of food. You’re there to be entertaining.”

Truisms, every one.

In addition to essentials about silverware, service and sociability, “Tiffany’s Table Manners for Teenagers” includes tips for many of the finer points—the correct way to hold a fish fork, for example, or how to eat an artichoke properly. Most important of all, there’s a whole page on how to be a gracious dining companion.

Why else we love it: it’s sheathed in Tiffany blue. It’s concise. And the illustrations, from famed fashion illustrator Joe Eula, are as charming and funny and timeless as ever.

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