Get a signed copy of our latest book, Emily Post's Etiquette - The Centennial Edition, for yourself or to give as a gift, and support Vermont's independent bookstore Bridgeside Books.
Greetings and handshakes are social skills...and like every skill it takes practice to get them right and to feel comfortable using them. Also, it’s much easier to learn and practice with someone you know well so try out that greeting and handshake in familiar settings with friends and family.
Let me say it again! Practice with siblings, neighbors, and dolls and stuffed animals—every day!
History of handshakes: In olden days, knights extended a hand to show it did not hold a weapon and they were approaching as friends not enemies. The other person responded showing he didn’t have a weapon either. The handshake was a gesture of friendship in the olden days and still is today.
Greetings and handshakes are skills that will serve your children well far beyond the holiday season, so take this opportunity to be intentional about teaching them. It’s really a gift for them from you!