Social Skilz :) is a company that works on building children's social interactions with peers and adults. Faye stresses a variety of ways to do this with your children through simple role-playing, conversations, and encouraging positive interactions with others.
Faye gave some great tips on preparing your children for the holidays. One simple way is the art of practice. She suggests giving your children a present that they are sure to love wrapped, along with a present that they wouldn't get very excited about receiving. She calls it re-gifting and wraps up random items they already have in the house (a favorite toy and one that's not).
She encourages parents to practice giving their children each gift and coaching them through how to open a gift and say thank you, without hurting anyone's feelings. Especially, if the gift wasn't on the top of your children's wishlist. She said by simply practicing this three days in a row, you are reinforcing positive behavior and your children begin to understand the art of having manners.
She also suggests preparing your children for holidays parties and functions by role playing and practicing five basic skills.
Five basic skills on teaching children to be more gracious:
Stand up tall
Say, "Thanks for having me!"
These skills are not things that children naturally pick up on and by showing them the difference between a weak entry (walking in with shoulders slumped, no eye contact, etc.) and a strong one (using the Five Basic Skills) your children should really impress their hosts. Besides, these are skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.
For more great ideas ideas on teaching children about social interaction, check out Social Skilz.