With Thanksgiving only a few days away, that means that the holiday season is here. The countdown for cooking, shopping and holiday planning is on.

The department stores are already decorated for Christmas. The exciting holiday events and family gatherings seem to come and go so quickly for most of us, but for others it is a very lonely time.

Many people are blessed with family and friends and have lots of events to participate in and enjoy together. I am encouraging everyone to think past themselves and bring joy and happiness to others by doing something thoughtful for someone less fortunate.

Kindness is the language that speaks to all.

Happy Holidays,

Peggy Signature-Pic



President and Founder


It is always better to give than receive.

For many people the holidays are very lonely.  This holiday, give a gift of your time or open your heart to the less fortunate. That is better than any gift you could buy.

We are so rushed during this time of year and it is easy to get carried away with everything besides the true spirit of the season. Shopping and parties seem to dominate the holidays, which often leaves little time to think about the less fortunate.

Take the challenge this season and find one way that you can give back. If you are looking for ideas, below we have listed places, organizations and ways to get involved.

Families-Enjoying-Thanksgiving-Dinner-Family-Thanksgiving-Food-300x234Invite Someone Over

Extend an invitation to your holiday meal. Anyone from a co-worker without family or a neighbor who can't travel, they would most likely be delighted to join you.


Soup kitchens and shelters always need extra hands. Call churches, local shelters and soup kitchens to see where help is needed.

Visit a Retirement Home

Retirement homes are likely to have at least some residents who won't be able to see their families. Others may have no families. Older people are more prone to social isolation and loneliness. This would be an excellent time to plan a visit.

Volunteer at a Hospital

If celebrating Christmas is not your holiday, volunteer at a hospital so that those who do celebrate Christmas will have time off. Hospitals are always open and never get a break. Call your local hospital to find out if it will accept volunteers for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The hospitals will always be happy to assign a job to you that will help out.

Donate to a Food Bank

If you would like to donate to a food bank, find one that is local to you and get a list of the items they need. Food pantries also supply non-edible items such as toothbrushes and diapers. There is always a desperate need for these items.

Support Our Troops and their Familiesm15640240_514x260-SAF-007794

Search for organizations that are looking for volunteers to help military families. If a family member is deployed, that creates sadness and stress for the entire family.

Donate Online

If you are unable to get away and donate your time, you can do your part and donate online. Visit www.feedingamerica.org. and see where your donation is needed.

Support Your Local Animal Shelter    

As an etiquette consulting company, we spend a lot of time encouraging people to be kind and attentive to others around us. But when we extend this MandAedited-300x200courtesy to more than just the people around us, and include animals, and Mother Earth, we create an entirely new (and larger) level of respect.

Around 8 million animals find their way to a shelter each year. Find out how you can volunteer at your local animal shelter. PetFinder.com is a great resource if you want to learn how to volunteer with - or donate to - animal shelters. It even offers information on how to foster needy animals.

This holiday season, instead of making it all about the events, food and shopping - make it about others who are less fortunate. Seek out people and places that need assistance. www. VolunteerMatch.org is a great resource if you're looking to give back, but not sure where to start. You can search by city and causes that interest you and your family.

For all of you who are parents of small children, teens  and adults there is an old saying, "The apple never falls far from the tree." When you as a parent, set an example of kindness and thoughtfulness to others, hopefully your children will do the same because our actions speaks so much louder than our words.


Genea RhodesWhen many people hear the word “etiquette” they automatically have an image in their head of a person that is prim and proper.

Recently, we had the chance to catch up with one of our graduates, Sergeant First Class Genea Rhodes. Ms. Rhodes attended our 5-Day Children’s Etiquette Certification and 5-Day Corporate Etiquette Certification. Ms. Rhodes will retire from the US Army at the end of October after serving as an instructor for twenty years.  In our certification classes, she was nicknamed Miss Congeniality, due to her warm personality and outgoing nature.  Ms. Rhodes is taking a specific approach and plans to help troubled and impoverished youth.

Growing up, she has seen both sides of the track and has spent much time and dedication to become a successful instructor serving our country. At first she said she tried to reinvent herself over and over to fit in with her idea of the stereotypical etiquette teacher, until she realized that the best approach was to take her background coupled with her new etiquette training and use this as a way to connect with students on a straight forward level.

In targeting the troubled and impoverished youth she wants to directly influence them and show them why they deserve to be successful and why they deserve a chance at having a life sans trouble.  While in the Army, she has traveled the world being exposed to many different cultures and backgrounds; the one common trait from everyone she has seen is that people want respect.

“People in poverty are seeking to emulate something. Everyone wants structure and wants respect.”  Rhodes is going to incorporate her etiquette training skills, US Army experiences along with her down to earth side in hopes of speaking to the youth in a way that is relatable.  She wants to be a role model to her students and someone that they can aspire to be like.

Ms. Rhodes believes that her experiences growing up, time in the US Army, and certification from The American School of Protocol will allow her to connect to the youth in a way that other people cannot. Her goal is to provide these students with the tools for setting themselves up for success in their future endeavors.

While speaking with her, she talked about her struggle with creating a name for the class.  She wanted to incorporate something along the structure of “From {blank } to {blank},” until her son stopped her and told her that you do not want to remind people about hard struggles they have had but rather show them what they are deserving and capable of. Her son helped her to create the name “Jeans & Gems” which embodies all of her beliefs.

Ms. Rhodes is proof that the stereotype of etiquette is false. Etiquette is not strictly about dining and formal wear; it is so much more in depth than that. The purpose of etiquette today is to make etiquette fun, empowering and most importantly relatable.

senior woman with home caregiverIn honor of National Senior Citizen Day on Thursday we thought we would post a friendly blog on ways to help senior citizens around you. Here are a few tips on how to reach out and interact with the elderly people in your community.

Show Respect- Always show respect for their greater breadth of life by avoiding using their first name unless they give you permission to call them so. Never avoid talking to older people in conversations, always acknowledge them in conversations, making sure to directly interact with them.

Reflect- People tend to fall in the trap of assuming that the word older is synonymous with outdated. This school of thought is problematic because it creates unhelpful generalizations.  Every individual is unique in his or her own way. By making these assumptions it can prevent a personal connection and knowledge sharing. Always make sure to avoid pre-conceived notions and avoid ageism.

Lend-a-Hand- As we grow older, the human body changes and requires different attention. It is important that we take notice of elderly people around us and lend out a friendly helping hand when possible. If you are in public and notice an elderly person needs a seat, stand and offer your seat to them. Before entering and exiting a building always be aware of those around you and take extra time to help someone if they require it.

Speak Clearly- It is important to speak clearly and enunciate, if the person is hard of hearing be willing to speak louder. Always speak with confidence but avoid shouting at all costs. Never assume that all elderly people are hard of hearing, adjust your voice to each individual.

Interact- Older people are more prone to social isolation and loneliness. It is important to interact with elderly people and to take time to share with them. Try to volunteer at a community center, through an organization, or even with a neighbor/ individual you know. Taking the time out of your day to talk and interact with someone can make all of the difference in both of your lives.

For anyone in the Atlanta area, there is a wonderful group, Ageless Interaction, which promotes intergenerational friendships through different types of creative and innovative activities. This group promotes the accepting of aging and shows how this process should be welcomed and not feared.