Advice From Mercer Island Mimsy: Holiday Edition

Elizabeth "Mimsy" Snugbottom dispenses etiquette advice in a manner befitting the denizens of the Mercer Island.

Dear Mercer Island Mimsy:

This year we’re hosting relatives from Seattle and Bellevue for Christmas dinner. They have diametrically opposed political views and we fear that the whole day will degenerate into mean-spirited arguments. What can we do to keep the peace?

— Hesitant Host and Hostess

Dear He Ho Ho:

How truly generous of you to open your home on Christmas Day to those who are not normally suitable for Mercer Island! Unfortunately, enduring uncouth behavior comes with the territory. Now you know why so many of your neighbors choose instead to spend the holidays in Cabo.

When the conversation turns to politics, your best course of action is to say loudly, “Have you seen Ava’s lacrosse trophies?”, if necessary replacing “Ava” and “lacrosse” with the name and competitive event of your own exceptional Mercer Island child.

Dear Mercer Island Mimsy:

My 20-year-old daughter is bringing her college boyfriend home for the holidays. I know that she’s an adult, but I’m not entirely comfortable having them share a bedroom under my roof. My husband is all about “Daddy’s Little Girl” and refuses to even discuss the subject. What should I do?

— Not Really a Prude

Dear Really a Prune:

If I had a dollar for every time I am asked this… If you had a guest house on your property like every respectable Mercer Island family, this would not be an issue.

Dear Mercer Island Mimsy:

What does one get for Christmas for the person who has everything, in this case, my sixteen-year-old son? Before you answer, “a new Tesla”, I already gave him one for his birthday.

— Nothing but the Best

Dear Nothing:

If he’s already sixteen, it might be too late for this, but I encourage you to endow a professorship or two at the Ivy League university that you attended. This will spare him the indignity of having to attend a second-rate institution like the University of Washington or Stanford.

Dear Mercer Island Mimsy:

We’re a Jewish family that just moved to Mercer Island. Where can we find a decent Chinese restaurant that’s open on Christmas Day?

— Moo Shu Hold-the-Pork

Dear Moo:

My local sources report that your quest requires a trip to British Columbia. With January 20th approaching, some of them are considering making this an extended visit.

Seeking guidance on how to comport oneself appropriately on Mercer Island? Mercer Island Mimsy may be reached at