Consider light fare for full guests | Ask Erin

Erin Jennings - Herald
Erin Jennings
— image credit: Herald

Dear Erin,
Traditionally we’ve had a sit-down Christmas dinner at our home. Now our children have grown and married and have several homes to visit on Christmas. Is it appropriate to change the meal style from a traditional sit-down to an open buffet, say from 1-3 p.m.?

— Burning my Biscuits in Bremerton

Dear Burning,
By all means, yes!

In fact, I encourage you to think even further outside of the box. Of course, I realize you want to see your children on Christmas Day, but instead of a full-blown meal, you could just have hors d’oeuvres or dessert. I bet your children would appreciate not being required to sit down to two (or more) elaborate meals on Christmas Day.

If you wish to stick with a full meal, you could alternate years. Odd years you have a buffet, even years you have the traditional sit-down affair.I’m sure your family would rather spend quality time with you on Christmas Day than have you wear yourself out preparing a meal that they aren’t even hungry to eat. Because when it comes down to it, how many servings of turkey and ham can one person eat in a day?

I know that traditions aren’t easy to change. But ask yourself, “Is this working for everyone involved?” If the answer is no, than explore your options.

And remember, it’s your holiday too.

Dear Erin,
Should men still open doors (car, house, restaurant, any old door) for women in today’s world?

— Mannered in Manchester

Dear Mannered,
I think the polite thing to do is to open doors for anyone, regardless of gender. If you are able-bodied and are the first to the door, open it and hold it open for others.

When I hold open a door and a male is one of the people for whom I’m opening it, he will often insist on holding it for me. And that’s nice. And sweet. And I don’t take it as a slap in the face of women’s lib.

As for opening car doors, there isn’t anything wrong in doing so. But I sure haven’t noticed this practiced very frequently, except in old movies. I wonder if the advent of remote-control door locks has made this a tradition of the past?

Opening doors (and I’m talking about out in public) is an act of common courtesy. Just like saying “gesundheit” after someone sneezes. Or helping pick up an item that was dropped. Or saying “Excuse me” if you bump into someone.

But I’m interested in what others think. Women, do you find it offensive if a man holds open a door for you? Men, do you feel awkward if a woman opens a door for you?

— Ask Erin is a feature of Kitsap Week. Have a question? Write Ask Erin, Kitsap Week, P.O. Box 278, Poulsbo 98370 or e-mail


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