Browsing Tag

etiquette

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

Let’s Eat Exhibit at Chateau Ramezay Museum

quebec traditional food let\'s eat exhibit at chateau ramezay

Until November 2010, you could learn about the traditional food of Quebec from the first colonists to today in an exhibit that just started at Chateau Ramezay Museum.

Quebec traditional food was influenced by three cultures: the first nations, France and Britain. But what is the heritage of each? Quebec traditional shepherd’s pie main ingredients blended the 3 cultures. Plus, it will be fun to learn how traditions were born. For example, I would have never guess that  the famous sugar shack meal comes straight out of British kitchens. Beside recipes, Let’s Eat explores all facets of cooking and eating. You will see how we preserve food over the years, how we prepared food and served the meals, and how dining etiquette and customs changed over time.

The associate researcher for the exhibit is Yvon Deslogues, an historian who juts published a book about food habits in Quebec before restaurants. You can find A table en Nouvelle-France on Amazon.ca ($25.74 CAD) and in most bookstores across Quebec.

MORE:
+ Let’s Eat exhibit at Chateau Ramezay Museum
+ via Katerine Rollet’s Epicurean Life

GIFT IDEAS Gifts for HIM PAPER goods

Thoughtful Gent made masculine and casual note cards

mancards by thoughtful gent

I like to stock greeting cards and note cards so I do not have to rush to the store when I need them.

A few months ago, I noticed that most cards I buy are suited for women. Since then I try to find more cards suitable for men. But the choices of amazing masculine cards are scarce. That is why I was happy when Kara Magrin of Thoughtful Gent introduced me to her latest venture, ManCards.

The Concept

Kara launched Thoughtful Gent because she saw the same hole in the card market as she searched for note cards for her husband. I received my sample box. It is well done and beautifully presented. If you are in a hurry, you can simply tie a ribbon with a tag instead of gift-wrapping the box.

The tin box packaging extends the man touch. It is also practical since the tin box makes a catchall afterwards. I recommend ManCards for the men in your life: lovers, brothers, fathers, and colleagues. The note cards would make unique gift stuffers this Christmas.

Card Etiquette

ManCards strives to encourage thoughtful notes written by men. They are ideal for women to send to men. My rule of thumb is to select a card that fits the recipient for birthdays, anniversaries and other life events. Otherwise, the cards should reflect the person who writes it.

What is Inside the Box?

Each box includes ten folded note cards and envelopes. The standard note cards exhibit a brown background with blue stripe, green stripe or orange stripe. The variety box contains the three colored stripes.

A special edition box is edited every year. The series reproduced a painting or an illustration by Michael Magrin, Kara’s husband. This year design would be wonderful as a Holiday card and during the winter season.

SOURCING:
+ blue note cards, green note cards, orange note cards, variety note cards – $12.95 for 10 cards + envelops, $84 for set of 100 (tins not included)
+ special edition note cards – $14.95 for 10 cards + envelops, $84 for set of 100 (tins not included)

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

Twenty Past Four Plates for Good Table Manners

twenty past four plates designed by willie tsang

Born and raised in Hong Kong, the graphic designer Willie Tsang now lives in Toronto. Willie likes to infuse a sense of play in his creations. I would add a touch of education too. He created 2 plate series and a teacup set for the 2008 collection of Imm Living. I am showing my favorites.

British Table Manners

Twenty Past Four illustrates the British eating habits. Let review the rules. According to the British table manners, you eat with the prongs of the fork pointing downward.

The plate illustration reminds you how to act at the end of the meal. You indicate to that you have finished eating a course by placing your knife and fork together at “twenty past four”. Put the fork with the tines facing up below the knife, with the blade facing the fork.

Tap for Tea

WillieTsang_designer

Tea-drinkers tapping the table with three fingers express discreetly their thanks to the member of the party who has refilled their cup. This habit comes from a Chinese tale. It is that tale that is behind the design of Tap for Tea. I am glad to have learned about the origin of this ritual.

You may wish to revisit my quick Guide to Table Manners.

Sadly, I have no idea about the prices and where you can get these items. If I learn more, I will let you know.

+ images from Umm Living

FOOD + DRINK RESTAURANTS

Gender Equally Discussion in Restaurant Service

dining out etiquette

Frank Bruni of The New York Times published a worth reading article about gender equally and old gender roles at dinner.

I am not talking about business meals where the rule should follow the business relationships and not the gender. What I have to say applies to social meals. The distinction between business and social events require more skills from servers. I admit that it is not an easy job but servers need to pay attention; they need to read the table.

Since my youth, I have been a defender of women rights for equality. But I also recognized that men and women have different tastes and expectations. I believe that many etiquette rules could prevail in our modern society without diminishing women. Called it chivalry if you like, I see it as a matter of savoir vivre.

As I grow older, I came to appreciate the value of old-fashioned good manners. Frankly, , some rules make my life easier. I look at them as a way to delegate. I take advantage of it, whenever it suits my mood. Everybody knows that I am a career woman; so I do not feel the need to prove anything to anybody.

Modernized Service

I go to restaurants to be pampered and feel special. I believe that servers should still follow the traditional etiquette of attending to the women at a table before the men, unless it is a large group. When I go for a burger or a pizza, I am less picky about the rule.

I condemn restaurants and/or servers that lower the level of services for an all-women table. Restaurants should not assume that women have necessary less money or will leave less tips. I demand that a server remembers who gave the credit card or read the name before putting it back on the table. A server who gave my card to my men companion will receive a lower tip.

Ordering wine is not a gender issue anymore. A server should not assume that the men will order the wine. The easiest way is to ask who wants the wine list or to leave the wine list in a neutral zone on the table. The person ordering the wine is the one who pays for it, unless specify otherwise. If you order a bottle of wine, the server will ask you to taste it first and you will be served last.

The Biggest Restaurant Service Offense On My Book

Sadly, North America restaurants and patrons fail to deliver on an elementary principle of etiquette. The biggest no no in restaurant service is when a server removes the plates at a table before everyone has finished eating the course. This basic rule should apply whether you eat at a corner restaurant or in a upscale restaurant. Efficacy or your personal well being cannot justify this lack of good manner. I hate this habit.

The NY Times article covers all aspects including the menu selection. Over 260 comments have been posted. How do you feel about that gender equality in restaurant services? Do you have any good or bad restaurant service experience that you wish to share with us?

+ Images by Kim Vallee from restaurants I visited – rights reserved

LIVING TRAVEL

Relaxing Day at Balnea Spa. Or Is It?

finnish saunas and cafe at Balnea Spa Bromont-sur-le-lac

Last Friday, I indulged in a Finnish meets modern meets hammam water spa experience. I wanted to try it since Balnea opened a few years ago in the Eastern Township.

Sitting next to Lac Gale with a superb view of the Appalaches, the site is designed around the balneotherapy. I liked my day but Balnea felt short on the drinking water part and in helping me getting the most of the balneotherapy.

How My Day Goes By

Balnea simply provides a small water bottle for the day. Unlike many spas, they do not have a self-served cucumber water station. But you can stop by the café anytime for a complimentary herbal tea.

We booked the Sukhasana package which includes a semi-private yoga (our trio), one hour of massage and the lunch. The lunch is up to $13, which means that you eat a soup and a healthy sandwich without extra. Their salad meal bowls are $12-$13. The food was good.

Even though my knee is not really fit for yoga yet, I went ahead because I wanted to try yoga on one of the several outside platforms overlooking the lake. It was raining heavily one hour earlier. So our yoga class took place inside, on the top veranda room. If they would have told me at the desk, I would have switched to a scrub treatment and a massage instead.

Saunas, Hot Tubs And Sun Bathing

Three Finnish saunas oversee the lake. Cool showers and an icy plunge pool reestablish your body temperature after each sauna session. I tried the dry sauna eucalyptus and a dry sauna with rosemary. The hot Turkish steam room complete the inside water complex.

We also enjoyed a series of hot tubs outside, including the renowned heavy fall cold pool (you have to try it) and a cold pond.

turk bath :: outdoor yoga :: cedar tub at  balnea

Next to the lake, the cedar tub and sun bathing lounge area is pleasing. You can swim on the lake. A small sauna pavilion with a fireplace and the new Fatboy outdoor chairs near the lake can be reserved by a group. Otherwise, it is available for everyone.

Pleasing Spa Treatments

The personnel at the yoga class and the massage took into account my injury. My girl friends enjoyed their massages too. One girl took an express facial treatment and was happy.

The striking site with direct access to nature makes you feel good. The décor of the spa is hip yet relaxing.

We took the quick tour of the facility with a guide. Rooms are well indicated. But I expect more from an upscale spa. Why Balnea do not devise one or two ritual programs around the thermal water experience? You make your own as you go. Unless you are an expert, it becomes more a day at the park than a spa treatment.

Short on Being a Top-Notch Host

On the customer service area, we were well treated but it is not worry free. That is where an upscale spa must deliver. They failed on the small details more than once.

My massage took place at the old Stone House. The sky was dark gray. Plenty of umbrellas were available on the main building. I saw them on my way out and I assumed more umbrellas would be available at the stone house. The girl who showed me the way did not suggest I bring an umbrella with me. It rained heavily as I was ready to go back to the main building. I asked for an umbrella and was told they were none at the stone house. I had to insist, playing on my injury as an excuse, before they called someone from the main building to bring me an umbrella. They finally found one sitting at the stone house. I got my umbrella but the other guests ran, all wet, under the rain to get back to the main building. Plus, they charge you $15 if you want to get a new bathroom – I hope these people did not have to pay. Sorry but you do not pay top dollars for that level of service.

Overall, Balnea provided me with a satisfying experience. They have a lot of things going for them. To become a must go destination, Balnea must improve on customer service. They must learn the art of being a top-notch host. You go to an upscale spa to feel pampered every step of the way and not just for what is in the premises. After this visit, I understand why some of my girl friends were disappointed when they visited last year.

SOURCING:
+ Balnea Spa Bromont-sur-le-lac – Web site is only in French

ENTERTAINING EVERYDAY entertaining

Hiring A Chef At Home for a Stress-free Dinner Party

hiring a chef for a dinner party

Last weekend was the birthday of a friend. Cooking an elaborate dinner for 10 persons is very demanding on the host, unless you hire help. His girlfriend opted to hire a Chef for the night. A wise choice!

Food and Wine Pairing

No proper meal should be served without harmonizing food and wine.

The Chef can suggest a list of wines that you can buy. For the no-hassle entertaining experience, let the Chef bring the wine. This way, if the menu slightly changes due to produce availability, the Chef can adjust the wine selection.

Dinnerware and Cutlery Rentals

No dishwashing for you. The Chef and his aid clean up the kitchen before they leave. For that reason, the fees will vary whether you use your own dinnerware or if you rent the dinnerware. By renting the dinnerware, glassware and cutlery, the Chef team has less cleaning to do.

Another reason for renting your tableware is that you need plenty of dinnerware and flatware for a 6-course meal. You may not own enough dishes nor have the right plates / cups / bowls to serve properly the courses.

About Our Menu

Thanks to our Chef Richard Boulay from Montreal, our group enjoyed a tasty menu:

  1. Whisky And Espelette Pepper Lobster Cappuccino
  2. Scallop With A Warn Pink Grapefruit Vinaigrette
  3. Crispy Cepes Ravioli
  4. Asian Perfumed Duck Tartar
  5. Salad With Duck Confit, Smoked Duck And Gizzard Confit
  6. Chocolate Shooter

And you do not have to shop for the food either. A key element if you wish to throw a surprise birthday party.

Guests Paying Their Share

This practice is perfectly acceptable between friends. We often meet at the restaurant for someone’s birthday with everyone paying his/her share of the bill. So this is not different.

Make sure to select a menu at a price that reasonably compared to a good restaurant meal. Simply keep it mind how much your friends are willing to pay for something like that.

Have you ever hired a Chef for an event? If so, did you enjoy the experience?

ENTERTAINING PAPER goods

Personalized Picture Stamps in Canada and the United States

customized stamps :: picture postage :: pictureitpostage :: zazzle

Finished up your invite or add a special touch to a thank you card with your own customized stamps. They are also appropriate to mark a special occasion, a kid birthday or something special happening in your life.

Where to buy?

The personalization process is the same whether you live in the USA or Canada. The difference is where you buy them. In Canada, you must use Picture Postage, a service from Canada Post in partnership with Canadian Bank Note.

In the United States, several companies own a vendor license from United States Postal Service to print customized postage. You can buy the stamps in the denomination that you need: postcard, envelop size and weight. Unfortunately, Canada Post offers only the customized stamp for the most current postage (standard letter under 30 grams).

How it works?

They all provide online a tool to design your postage using the same 3 steps. You first submit your own digital image. Then, you adjust your image into the stamp frame. Finally, you send your order.

In the United States, I like PictureItPostage by Endicia. There 2 main advantages are:

  • bigger stamp – your picture is 1 1/2″ x 1 3/16″. Stamp is 2 1/2″ x 1 9/16″
  • background colors – which I like a lot.

Zazzle is another company that I discovered through Perfect Bound, a cute blog by a girl who day dreams about living abroad, dark chocolate and being a magazine editor. Today, she paired wedding invitations with customized stamps. Check her post; she did an excellent pairing job.

The special features at Zazzle are:

  • you can write a small message text on top of your picture
  • three sizes of stamp
  • you can select pictures from the community gallery.

Canadian Way

The Canadian stamps look better in my opinion because they do not have a bar code. They look like regular stamp. But honestly, they are all pretty cool and can be as stylish as you design them. In Canada, you can buy a sheet of 40 stamps or a Keepsake Sheet of 20 stamps with a large image printed to keep as a souvenir.

Plan ahead and leave you plenty of time for delivery. These custom gifts make great gifts to new parents, grand parents or new homeowners.

>>> Sourcing:
Buy online: PictureItPostage – price: $18.95 USD for 20 large stamps
Buy online: Zazzle Custom Stamps – price: $16.95 USD for 20 medium stamps
Buy online: The Knot Wedding Postage Collection [Zazzle]
Buy online: Picture Postage – price: $24.95 for 20 stamps + a large keepsake image
Via: squared away [Perfect Bound]

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

The Art of Formal Table Setting

formal place setting chart :: flatware by christofle :: knife rests :: ala crumb collector by alessi

Toast and Tables talked about the art of table setting yesterday. Sarah Dennis made the point that formal entertaining is a disappearing act. Sadly, I must agree with her.

I feel there are times that call for strict etiquette and beautiful table manners. It is one way to clearly state that an event is out of ordinary. All this made me realized that I was overdue for a post on table etiquette. I will review a few rules in well mannered eating customs.

Napkins and Flatware

The napkin at a formal dinner sits at the center of the plate. The fold must be simple. The place card is put on top of the napkin. Place cards are a must at a formal dinner party.

Silverware is used for formal dinner. Stainless steel cutlery is reserved for less formal events. Some people prefer eating the fish course with fish utensils made of stainless steel to avoid the metal reaction with lemon.

Soup and Fish Utensils

In a formal dinner, there can be from 6 to 12 courses. The rule is that you cannot put more than 3 utensils on each side. The idea is to leave comfortable space between each place setting.

The solution is to bring the extra utensils during the meal. Based on the menu, the soup spoon and the fish utensils are often brought to the table before serving. If you bring utensils at the table, the servers will put them in a tray for carrying.

British versus French Formal Table Setting

The formal table chart is set according to the British rule. One huge difference between the two cultures is that no butter knife and bread plate appears on the French table. In fact, the sales director at Arthur Quentin explained to me the other day that old French dinnerware ceramists adjusted their production for the North American market. Now they make the bread plate and butter dish.

Butter is never served at a formal dinner. Bread is optional and it only serves with certain dishes. In fact, bread cannot be served before the meal has begun. You put the bread on the tablecloth in France.

Dessert Cutlery

The dessert utensils are allowed on the table at the top of the plate. It is a common method but it is not the most elegant one. If the dessert utensils are already on the table, the server must then move the fork on the left and the spoon on the right of the place setting before serving the cheese or dessert course.

In the ultimate formal table setting, dessert utensils are brought at the table just before serving the cheese or dessert course. It feels so much more sophisticated. Visually, it also makes a better tabletop from the start.

Before serving cheese or dessert, the table should be cleared of everything except the centerpieces. The serving staff will clean the tablecloth with a crumb collector and carry the crumbs with a small plate. You probably have seen this practice in high end restaurants. Cheese and dessert silverware is then placed on the table.

Casual Luxury Table Accessory

Knife rests are a stylish table accessory if you plan to reuse the knives for more than one course. Do not put the knife on the knife rest when you are setting the table. The guests will deposit the knife on the knife rest between the courses to avoid spoiling the tablecloth. The knife rests signal to your guests that they should keep their knife. Knife rests are used exclusively in casual dinner.

There is no need for knife rests at a formal dinner. The utensils intended for the course are always removed at the end of each course at a formal dinner.

Stylish Tableware Accessories

If you are looking for items to set a formal table for yourself or as a wedding gift, check out these luxurious items.

  1. Butter Dish by Ercuis at Bloomingdales – price: $87 USD
  2. Fish fork and knife from Isatis Flatware Collection by Guy Degrenne – designed by Agnes Descamps
  3. Silverplated Galet Knife Rests by Christofle at artedona – price: $210.60 for a set of 4
  4. Vertigo Individual Butter Dish by Christofle designed by Andree Putman at Bloomingdales – price: $215 USD
  5. Vertigo Knife Rests by Christofle designed by Andree Putman, set of 4 available at Bloomingdales
  6. Crumb Collector Ramasse-miettes inox de poche at MeilleurDuChef.com – price: 4.60 ?
  7. Alessi Ala Crumb Collector by Achille Castiglioni at All Modern – price: $30 USD

Have a look at the top picture that Sarah published on Toast and Tables. It is fine example of a formal place setting. It showcased China by Lenox, Stemware by Waterford/Wedgwood, Flatware by Vera Wang and a Tablecloth by Sferra.

>>> Sourcing:
Via: Disappearing Act: In this casual world, is formal passé? [Toast and Tables]

FOOD + DRINK RESTAURANTS

Faux-Pas at the Communal Restaurant Table

my husband at the father\'s office

While we were at Father’s Office, the guy next to us put his half-full plate inside the plate of my husband because he did not like having his plate in front of him.

He did not ask if my husband has finished his plate, he just assumed. Frankly, he acted like a thoughtless guy who just thinks about his small person. Let’s make it clear. In no circumstances whatsoever can that behavior be acceptable. Even with your close friend or a relative, it is not tasteful to act that way.

What did I do?

I was astonished by his behavior; I never seen that before. I did not want to start an argument but I want to send him the message that it bothered me. So I pushed back the two plates on his side a few times until his girlfriend took the plates away from us. She put the plates against the barman’s bar this time. They did not even talk to us to say they were sorry and it was their mistake.

Reviewing the applicable table manners

Always remember that etiquette is based on the principle that your behavior should not disturb the well-being of others. Having said that, the etiquette rules when you are eating at a restaurant counter are:

  1. You do not invade someone else’s space. Depending on the design, you are usually allowed about 18-20 inches of counter space.
  2. Ask the waiter to take your plate away
  3. If you see that you seem to have offended someone or touched them inadvertently, say I’m sorry. It does not cost anytime and you acknowledged the other person’s concern. If you do not understand why the other person was upset, simply ask them politely what you did wrong? Do not forget that etiquette changes between regions and cultures.
  4. If you need something from someone, always ask permission first. Acknowledge that the other person has the right to refuse. So wait for the answer and make sure to say thanks before you act. If the person refuses, you should not look offended. Just answer that it is OK.

That is all for today’s lesson.

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Eleven place card holders for your dinner parties

modern style place card holders at my wedding favors

A quick way to push further your table decorations is by using decorative place card holders. This personal touch makes your table stands out.

Although those are sold for weddings, they work as well for your dinner parties. From my experience, if you are looking for something that is not widely available at typical retailers, search at wedding favor stores.

I received some samples from My Wedding Favors to appraise what they look like. I went for the traditional ones because I want to check the detailed works on the pieces since they are quite affordable. After review, I am satisfied with the look, especially considering that they do not cost a lot.

My Wedding Favors has a huge catalogue. Take the time to explore to find the right design for your event. To speed things up, I selected 11 place card holders for you; all fitting into my entertaining style.

Modern style place card holders

If you are looking for modern style, check the Classic Round Place Card Holders and the Silver Plated Fortune Cookie Place Card Holder. I usually prefer holders where the card is higher in the air. Sitting like that on the plate, The Silver-Plated Perfect Pair Placecard Holders look inviting.

Since Valentine is not too far away, I suggest either the Silver Mini-Heart Place Card Holder or the iconic love sign of Silver LOVE Place Card Holders with Matching Place Cards.

When you are short on ideas, you can let the party themes be driven by the style of your card holders. Over time, you could gather several styles and then, you will be set for all occasions.

Traditional style party ideas

 classical place card holders at my wedding favors

These classic style chairs symbolize an elegant soirée in a traditional setting. It give you the chance to host a Victorian feats or a Dangerous Liaisons inspired dinner party. But I prefer the look of the all pewter chairs.

For a tea party, use any of these chairs to write the tea blends. If you like to host tea parties, get both Silver Teapot Placecard Holders and the plantation style Silver Pineapple Placecard Holders.

If you are celebrating a new baby, a promotion or a new house, champagne is in order. There is nothing wrong in this case to be literal and use these modern champagne bucket card holders. These sleek holders could be used on a buffet table to write the name of the dishes.

The wine buckets can inspire you to host a medieval dinner party. If you dress up your table with a few pewter serving pieces, the style of these wine bucket card holders will complement the pewter. It is ideal for an Italian style feast.

Creative place cards

A few tips on etiquette. Always handwrite the guest names and if any, the table number. At larger events where people do not necessary know each other, you can write the names on both sides so people can learn the names of everyone sitting at the table.

I find these beautiful handmade tags at Cox and Cox. If you stop by the art & craft store, you can buy fine paper by the sheet to make your own handmade tags. One trick of the trade, keep your old blade on hand for cutting. Having a slightly uneven edge adds warmth to your place cards. Or use a ruler to cut the edge of your paper.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Hand-Made Cards at Cox and Cox – price: £14 for a pack of 50 place cards
Buy online: Pewter Chair Set with Epoxy and Rhinestone Accents at My Wedding Favors – price: $7.95 for a set of 4 chairs (4 models per set)
Buy online: Set of 4 Unique Pewter Chair Placecard Holders at My Wedding Favors – price: $8 for a set of 4 chairs
Buy online: Wine Goblet Placecard Holder at My Wedding Favors – price: $1.80 each
Buy online: Silver Plated Miniature Champagne Bucket Card Holder at My Wedding Favors – price: on sale at $1.80 each

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining PAPER goods

Personalized cards and invitations for the Holiday season

tree themed christmas cards, invite and gift tag

This post reviews two brands, two price ranges and two custom print options. It is all about Christmas tree themes for cards and invites.

The modern style of Haute Note

I am showing you first the cool Holidays cards from Haute Note. This Vancouver card studio is known for its signature low rectangular format.

They newly added the classic card format with the clean modern look and design that you have come to expect from them. As you can guest, Haute Note appeals to the cool urban crowd.

Design-wise, take a look at Starry Starry Night from the classic note catalogue. From the signature card catalogue, explore the latest Festive Foliage series and Ornamental series. Each series comes in 4 illustrations from which you select the one you like.

If you are unsure about card etiquette, you find a quick guide by Haute Note on their Web site. Finding the right message for your Christmas cards is sometimes hard. Some of their samples are:

  • Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year
  • My favorite: From our home to yours, may your hearts be filled with joy this holiday season!
  • Glad tidings for a wonderful holiday season filled with joy and peace.

Fine Stationery

If you are looking for a fresh traditional look, you will like the Bubbles n’ bows invitation and the Mainio gift tag I picked. You may use the Mainio gift tags to label your Christmas cookies. The catalogue at Fine Stationery is vast and varied.

For the invitation, Fine Stationery gives you two options for the invitations: print the text message on your own printer or have a professional flat print job. The decision really depends on your budget and time frame. You select the ink colors and the fonts. Fine Stationery publishes a fun to read blog called The Finer Things.

More on etiquette

It shows good manner to take the time to hand write a message on the back. It is inappropriate to send only and all printed card or gift tag. If you have questions about etiquette, you can send your questions directly to Letitia, the America’s etiquette authority. The most frequently asked questions are already published on Fine Stationery’s Web site.

Because a part of your recipients can be of different faiths or agnostic, it is often suggest these days to omit Religious reference in the printed message and image of your cards. A solution is to write down a note to highlight the faith aspect of the Holiday whenever applicable. That is what I do for a matter of taste.

But if you prefer religious cards, you can do the inverse. Your friends know you and even if they do not share your faith I feel that they should not be offended since it is a religious celebration after all. You can very well hand write a non religious wish to the non Christians and agnostics.

Or you can decide to have two sets of cards. As you can see, there is no single option. My advice is to stay true to yourself and to judge on a one to one basis.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Starry Starry Night by Haute Note – price: $24 CAD for 8 cards + 9 envelops
Buy online: Festive Foliage by Haute Note – price: $24 CAD for 8 cards + 9 envelops
Buy online: Ornamental by Haute Note – price: $24 CAD for 8 cards + 9 envelops
Buy online: Bubbles n’ bows # 71199 invitation at Fine Stationery – price: $31 USD for 25 print your own invites, $81 for 25 text printed invites, envelops are included
Buy online: Mainio # 72612 gift tag at Fine Stationery – price: $38 for 25 printed gift tags
Learn more: Blog of Fine Stationery

RELATED POST:
+ Wrapping ideas for Holidays cookies – do not forget the giveaway until November 20, 2007 11:59 pm Eastern Time