Saddened in Seattle

by Danielle Milsten
(Federal Way, WA)

Dear Miss Practica Manners;
My mother-in-law just passed away last week. I have not gotten my Christmas cards out to her and my father-in-law yet. In the midst of this sad time, how can I say Merry Christmas and express my condolences at the same time? Should I send a sympathy card to my father-in-law in lieu of a Christmas card? Should I do both? I feel like it would be really tacky and insensitive to send a Christmas card.


Saddened in Seattle

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Card Sending
by: Ms P Etiquette


Let me start with extending my condolences for your loss. You can certainly send a sympathy card to your father-in-law, but I assume you may have done this at the funeral. Nonetheless, there is no reason to not do this again.

As far as the Christmas card, this is STRICTLY your personal choice. This will be a difficult Christmas without your mother-in-law. Perhaps a Christmas card in which you include a fond memory of your mother-in-law, may help to make the season a little brighter for your father-in-law and help the healing process? At the end of the day, use your personal discretion as you are much closer to the situation.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas.

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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