How to be the Perfect Thanksgiving Guest

PSOW Staff - Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Did you know the first Thanksgiving was held nearly 400 years ago in 1621? It was a big party too…lasting 3 days with more than 150 guests made up of Pilgrims and members of the Wampanoag tribe. No matter the length of your meal, here are some basic rules of etiquette to help make sure you’re the perfect guest.

Dietary Concerns First, notify your host of any dietary issues well in advance of Thanksgiving. Whether it’s allergies or vegan concerns, make sure you tell your host if you need anything special for dinner. Better yet, you could also bring your own preferred dish and share something new with your host.

Hosting gifts and food Making food for an army of guests is a pretty difficult task, so ask your host if you can help by bringing something like a pie, maybe a bottle of wine, or even flowers to make the event more festive. Another good idea is to bring a breakfast casserole for the next day, to give your host a break from cooking if guests are staying overnight.

Children If your children are also guests at your event, talk with them beforehand about using proper manners at the dinner table. Thanksgiving is not the time for a food fight or having children complain about something your host may be serving.

On time Opposed to other holiday events, most hosts have a set schedule for a Thanksgiving meal, so make sure and show up a little early before the meal and never show up late—especially long after dinner has started.

Play nice Thanksgiving is not the time to bring up politics or any other hot button issues. A host’s table will most likely have people from different social or political persuasions and the polite thing to do is to keep the conversation on non-controversial topics.

Device free I say this about most dining occasions, but Thanksgiving is no time to be staring at your phone. Go device free this Thanksgiving, your dinner hosts will surely appreciate it.

Gratitude Even though your host may decline, do offer to help clean up after dinner is served. And a few days after the holiday, be sure and send a nice handwritten thank you note to your host…it will be remembered and appreciated!

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