Ok the big Thanksgiving Day Feast is almost here and it always seems like when you get so many people together especially family things can go downhill very quickly so I thought it would be good to have a little refresher in some Thanksgiving game day rules:
As a guest, I think it's always nice to offer to bring something for the meal that day but whatever you do definitely don’t dictate what you think the menu you should be. If you have any special dietary needs, it is very gracious to offer to bring a dish that meets those needs. “Grace is a vegetarian – I’d love to bring a delicious tofu dish if that’s OK with you.”
Dress for the occasion. I like to dress-up for Thanksgiving but some people are more comfortable casual so I would definitely say to be sure and ask in advance what the dress is for the day. I always think dressing up is a nice way of saying to your hosts “I appreciate the effort you are making for all of us."
Pet Peeve alert! Don't be late...it's incredibly rude since technically people usually like to wait until everyone is seated before beginning the meal.
My mother always, always made us offer to help with the clean-up and I think whether the host wants you to or not it is always nice to try.
Don't be the last one to leave. You never want to wear out your welcome.
Be gracious. Another words, say thank you. A hand-written note to say thank you is really the best but at the very least call or send an email. It's important to let your host know how much you appreciate all their hard work.
If you are hosting this Thanksgiving dinner, try to be open to people who don't have any place to go. Remember what this holiday represents and if one of your guests ask if they can bring a friend be open to additional guests. No one should have to be alone on this day. Be creative – fit in as many as possible. This is the celebration that exemplifies the generous spirit!
Be flexible with your menu. Because Thanksgiving is a bit of a pot luck affair, be prepared to accept all offers for special diet accommodations. My Dad is a vegetarian and my sister-in-law has to eat gluten-free so every holiday I am always trying to find new ideas or recipes to accomodate them.
Assign tasks. Greeters, hors d’ouevres passers, ‘bar tenders’, ‘circulators and introducers,’ servers – even though most guests may be family members, give them the red carpet treatment.
I love this Emily Post must...take a tip from the airlines: serve and seat young children and the elderly first.
Please don't have the TV on during Thanksgiving...take this time to turn the world off and enjoy the people seated at your table. Listen to what your guests have to say. Focus your attention where it belongs – on the lovingly prepared food, your family and your friends. When the dishes are done, EVERYONE can enjoy the games (or the chat in the other room!)
Once again say thank you to all of your guests and definitely don’t forget to thank everyone who helped you with the organizing, cooking and cleaning.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!!