Thanksgiving Etiquette – Do’s and Dont’s

(image credits: The Berry)

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Wherever you may end up this upcoming holiday, remember to mind your manners, and exercise good etiquette. Particularly if nosy aunts, bossy grandmas, and rambunctious children are in the mix… Do your best to remember the true meaning of the holiday, to give thanks for one another, rather than lose what’s left of your sanity.

But just in case that poses difficulties, let’s lay down some ground rules.

DO mind conversation topics. Establish for yourself some “no-go” areas and be prepared to change the subject in case said subject gets brought up. Typically, religion and politics are standard controversial topics but depending on the party guests, this may vary.

DON’T get defensive. Apropos to above rule, sometimes… someone just goes there. If they’re pushing your buttons on a rather personal matter, politely decline to answer. We like this example from The Huffington Post “‘I never talk about anything too personal when eating a great meal because I don’t want to lose my appetite”.

DO RSVP and do show up on time. The entire concept of Thanksgiving is centered on dinner so let your host know the final tally, as they must ensure enough food for all. Be sure to show up on time too, as everyone will be dying to dive into that bird and they’re not waiting!

DON’T assume your dietary restrictions will be met. If you’re a vegetarian, or allergic to an ingredient, prepare the host by letting them know in advance. Better yet, offer to bring a dish that meets this dietary restriction.

DO prepare for Thanksgiving traditions. Fill guests in on any religious traditions such as saying grace, or giving blessings. As a guest, if caught off-guard with a Thanksgiving tradition, be polite and do your best to follow in suit.

DON’T bring unannounced guests. As previously mentioned, this is a dinner event and the hosts have gone to great lengths with menu planning. Adding unexpected guests can mean a shortage of food for the entire party.

DO dress appropriately. Many dress up for Thanksgiving, but it varies depending on your host’s preference. Ask ahead of time if you’re uncertain. But a good rule of thumb is to keep it classy. Avoid anything too revealing and/or casual.

DON’T overstay your welcome. The party doesn’t end for the hosts just because you’ve headed home. They still have plenty of clean up duty and possibly work the next day. Be mindful of their schedule. It’s best to properly thank your hosts, offer to help clean up, and pack it up for the night.

DO have fun and DO checkout the below infographic for further Thanksgiving etiquette! It’s a thanksgiving table setting how-to!

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