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A Life Well Lived - Having Style 

Fifth Annual Lenox Survey Reveals a return to Civility

50% Increase From 2003 in Respondents That

Rate Americans Manners as Excellent or Good


Lawrenceville, NJ, September 28, 2004 – Are Americans becoming more polite?  According to LenoxÒ, America’s tabletop and giftware leader, the answer may be yes.  Lenox announces the results of its fifth Annual Gift Giving and Etiquette Survey which found a 50% increase in the number of respondents that rate American’s manners as good or excellent, from 2003.


“It appears that the tide is turning and people are focusing more on gracious living, as indicated by demure clothing making a return on the fashion runways, many new etiquette guides hitting the bookshelves and families spending time together eating dinner and entertaining guests at home,”  says Denise Dinyon, Lenox’s gift giving and etiquette expert. “We could, indeed, be moving into a more mannerly society and a return to civility.”


The results of this national survey also found an almost 40% decrease in respondents that rate American’s manners as poor.  Not surprisingly, almost 80% of Americans rate their own manners as good or excellent – a trend that has remained constant over the last two years. 


Cindy Grosso, owner and founder of the Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette, offered her opinion on this notable increase, “I think people are getting it.  As the world gets smaller, it becomes more important to pay attention to others and treat them the way you would like to be treated.  You have a lot better chance of being treated with courtesy when you are courteous."  


The annual Lenox survey of more than 1,000 people tracks trends in gift-giving and etiquette and provides an annual national barometer of how Americans incorporate manners and thoughtfulness into their own lives. 


The survey also noted differences among regions and gender, based on common etiquette indicators, like sending thank you notes and gift giving. 




·         There is something to the notion of Southern gentility!  32% of Southerners rate American manners highly, compared to 24% in the West and 25% in the Northeast and North Central. 

·         However, people in the Northeast are more likely to send a gift to a wedding that they cannot attend (89%) while those in the North Central region are least likely (81%). 

·         People living in the West and Northeast (84% and 85%) are more likely than those living in the South and North Central (76% and 75%) regions to bring the host a gift when attending a party. 

·         Women (81%) are more likely than men (75%) to rate their own manners as excellent and are more likely to send a thank you note after receiving a gift (89%) than men (84%). 


So Happy Together…

The survey also found that Americans are spending more time together, whether it’s enjoying a family meal or entertaining guests.  In 2001, two-thirds (65%) of Americans said that someone in their family set the table for dinner at least once a week.  By 2004, this number has risen to three-fourths (75%) of all respondents, and of that 75%, 57% set the table four or more times per week.  Shattering stereotypes, 67% of households without children set the table regularly, as do Americans age 65 and older (65%). 


Americans are entertaining more than ever.  Whether it’s take-out, dinner or a cocktail party, this year’s survey revealed that the number of Americans who entertain two or more times per month has jumped from 24% in 2003  to 36% in 2004 – an almost 50% increase.  With Americans opening their doors to entertain so regularly, it’s no surprise that ease and simplicity are two of the most common ingredients in party planning.  The survey found that Americans prefer to frequently or sometimes cook up a simple home-made meal (88%), or throw a casual barbeque (78%), or order take-out (55%) for their guests. 


Denise Dinyon adds, “Even if you entertain often, it doesn’t need to be stressful - most people are just thrilled to receive an invitation.  The best advice is to keep it simple, serve something you love and do it in your own unique style.”


About Lenox

Lenox, America’s tabletop and giftware leader, based in Lawrenceville, N.J., is the only full-line American tabletop and giftware marketer.  In addition to Lenox, Lenox, Inc. also markets Dansk®, Gorham® and Lenox Kirk Stieff Collection.  Together, the brands represent over 450 years of tabletop and giftware experience.  Visit Lenox at their website at or call 1-800-63-LENOX.

Source: Lenox Annual Etiquette Survey

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