Editor’s Letter


The holiday season is upon us, and with the warmer days in the recent past, I recall long hot summers staying with my grandparents on vacation. After hours of playing outdoors, making mud pies and owning the block since I was the only youngster on a bike, I would come into the cool for a respite of reading. I loved perusing the decades-long canon of Reader’s Digest on hand (laughter is the best medicine is still a mantra), from where I learned to see a curated look at the world through magazines, to my grandmother’s etiquette book, copyright 1922. In a recent conversation with our very own Ms. Modern Manners Sharon Schweitzer regarding the timeliness of etiquette, she illustrated how much manners and etiquette have changed over the years. In fact, the most enduring etiquette guideline is to add a little flexibility to manners as the situation calls for it.

Photography by Megan Kyle Bennett

Etiquette by Emily Post (also known as Mrs. Price Post) offered as diverse a spectrum of possibilities for living in a grown-up world than any syndicated sitcom ever could. The tome was a range of how-tos, why nots and here’s-how-that-works, as intriguing as the photos and advice that Emily Post would advocate to guide modern manners. Succinct chapter titles like: Making One’s Position In The Community (how to give back and create a presence), Modern Dinner Giving (still quite perfect tips on hosting), The Country House And Its Hospitality (how to visit friends and love it), In Official Washington (not used so much these days), How To Address Important Personages (perfect for encountering mayors to ambassadors) and The Code Of A Gentleman (more mantra-worthy insight for this fellow) are just a few examples of how the remnants of the Downton Abbey era can still be relevant today.

Which got me to thinking, like the a-ha eureka moment Archimedes had in the bath. In fact, it got me to thinking vigorously: How can we do our best and follow the guidelines to helping live happier lives—all while keeping up with changing times and modern manners? How can we make our most confident choices through this year and into the next? How, really?

And that a-ha moment revealed… satisfaction. Seeking satisfaction within ourselves by not holding our lives to others’ yardsticks, supporting others without any ego of how it will benefit us, allowing family and friends to live their true essence no matter what their choices, and enjoying more of every moment, from the boardroom to the ballroom, savoring the best life has to offer. At this time of year, and well beyond these sentimental end-of-year months, really creating and seizing the cherished moments is a mindset we can all use more of, right? As Goethe said, A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.

Around here we believe in the magic of how giving back to the world profoundly affects those it benefits, as well as fulfilling ourselves. It’s The Society Diaries’ honor to provide that in every issue with you and for you. From the latest fashion, people profiles, lifestyle trends and not-to-miss cultural moments to savor, we’re on the scene to bring you more, more, more that represents this great state.

As you turn these pages, we also invite you to count the hundreds upon hundreds of guests and dozens of charities supported in the many cities that make up this state. Get an insider’s glimpse of this world with Houstonian Becca Cason Thrash’s Paris and Venice galas that we share as our cover story to see how you, your friends and colleagues see the world because of what you carry in your hearts.

Everyone knows we love a great party and Thrash hosts it like none other. We met for a long lunch together in Houston recently, where she shared her latest triumphant feat of helping raise funds to preserve cultural institutions and we couldn’t agree more. “Everyone told me it was sublime and amazing, yet we all know how much work goes into doing these,” confided Thrash in our look at her philanthropic endeavors over the years. She, like we, are adamantly Houston Strong and want to help fortify that city in every way, along with the cities of all our readers into a better 2018 and beyond.

We look forward to seeing you at all the holiday festivities and celebrating a Happy New Year with gusto like never before, so enjoy the warmth of the season, as we celebrate and elevate you now and in the bright and shiny future ahead.

XO Lance Avery Morgan



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