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Sunday's column, and catching up

Posted by Robin Abrahams  December 13, 2012 11:27 AM

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Whew! Home again. One nice thing about being in an interfaith family is that you can travel between the Official Holidays. A heartfelt good luck, keep calm, and carry on to those of you who'll be traveling closer to Christmas proper.

Here is Sunday's column, after a bit of a delay.

The holiday advice I posted last week got a bit of pushback, as I'd written "Gaudy or refined, all outdoor holiday decorations are utterly grotesque by early January. Please, take them down." I'm still going to stand by a narrowly legalistic reading of that sentence. Some folks mentioned Epiphany, which I'd considered--January 6 is still early.* And I'd hairsplit a difference between "holiday" and "seasonal." I liked what jstarr wrote:

Regarding the outdoor decor...I think there's a difference between some tasteful landscape lights and greens to brighten up the winter night and the full on multi-colored Clark Griswald type of display with the giant inflatable Santa, moving reindeer etc., which really should come down (or at least be shut off) by mid-January.

I think we're all in agreement on the basic principle here.

* If you wish a person "Happy holidays" and are responded to with an aggressive "Merry Christmas!," a good response is a gently surprised, "I'm sorry, I assumed you celebrated the Epiphany."

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at

Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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