Turkey day is just about a week away, so it’s time to get your plans together! If you are going to be a Thanksgiving dinner guest, here are a few pointers:
1) Be on time! Your host has likely spent days (very stressful ones) making sure that this meal comes together with as few hiccups as possible. Not only is it rude to your host, but you could potentially be prolonging everyone’s wait for their meal.
2) Dress appropriately. Hopefully you’re comfortable enough to ask your host about the proper attire, but I wouldn’t advise showing up in sweats. Though my family has always had a relatively casual holiday dinner (jeans, flats, sweaters), when I am going to a friend/family’s house, I will dress up and wear either boots or heels, jeans/pants with NO holes, and will put in a bit of extra effort for my hair and makeup. It is better to be overdressed than under-dressed.
3) ASK your host what you can bring. Do not assume that because you think you make the world’s best mashed potatoes that your host will need you to make mashed potatoes. It is always polite to ask of your host what they need and decide from there. If you are not bringing a food or your host does not need you to make anything, it is kind to bring a dessert, or a gift for your host. If you are bringing a dessert, I suggest either making one yourself or going to a local bakery who will a) do it right and b) put the dessert in pretty packaging. Buying store bought cookies/treats may give the wrong impression. The gift you bring depends on your relationship with the host. If you’re really at a loss of what to bring, a holiday scented Yankee candle is nice, or maybe a Starbucks gift card. (who doesn’t love pumpkin spice lattes?!)
4) Mind your topics of conversation. Though it may be tempting, getting into an all out brawl with Uncle Lou over the recent election will set an uncomfortable tone for the evening. Thanksgiving is one out of a handful of times each year that friends and family are under one roof, so make it a pleasant experience by keeping politics and sports debates out of it.
5) Help when you can. Your host is going to have a lot of clean up once everyone clears out, so do your best to do your part. This may mean helping to clear the table, helping with dishes, setting out desserts, or maybe if you’re lucky, taking home the extras. ;)