On Dining Out on Holidays (And Little Gifts)

First things first, I hope everyone has a happy holiday. Whether you celebrate Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or just another day, I hope you have a fun-filled day full of gifts, family, friends, laughs, food and drink.

For me? Well it’s mostly just another day with Yule elements mixed in. Nonetheless, I did get a nice little gift from my parents, this very tasty looking Scotch (review to come soon, I promise!):

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And my awesome local friends got me this fun little cigar tasting journal:

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You know you’re a total grown-up when this is all it takes to move you to tears. Hah.

Anyway, after festivities this morning the rest of my family will go on to the communal family gathering, which is a no-fly zone for me because I just don’t get along with the group. I’m the black sheep in a family of a bunch of hard-right, Bible-thumping Southern Baptists so in the interest of avoiding drama I always skip out and do my own thing, which usually (as will today) involve going out for dinner.

I’ve become somewhat of an expert on eating out on holidays and have made it a point to always do what I can to make my server’s day better. You might say I’m contributing to the problem but I disagree – these establishments will be open regardless of whether or not I’m there so the least I can do is try to make someone happy.

Depending on where you go it can either be slammed or, in the case of where I usually end up, rather quiet. I love this because I can enjoy a nice, quiet, peaceful meal without all the drama. No need to feel bad for me, it is what it is. I quite enjoy it.

Anyway, my biggest thing is to make your server’s time worthwhile: small talk when appropriate and going “all out” – appetizer, dinner, drinks and dessert. I always do it all. I also “pay it forward” with a generous tip, usually going insofar as to “tip the bill” – a bit of a social media trend here where you tip 100% of the amount of the check. Again, just something I do to try to make someone’s day better because I know for many, the holidays are a time of heartache. I’m no stranger to that feeling myself.

Of course, not every nation in this world has a tipping culture but I say even if you don’t normally, add a tip. You have no idea how that can make someone’s day.

Anyway, I’m off to enjoy my day, and once again, everyone have a happy holiday (or maybe even a happy birthday – I have one blogging pal who is a Christmas baby!).

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