Thanksgiving Etiquette

Thanksgiving is coming and that means leveraging Thanksgiving etiquette to make these moments pleasantly unforgettable to all: hosts and guests. It is one of those times when we share our love with our friends and family and celebrate being together with a wonderful meal.

Here are some guidelines to follow:

Dress Code:

Wear nice clothes, like a cocktail dress for the ladies and tie and jacket for the gentlemen. There will be people from all ages gathered at the table, so err on the conservative and stylish side.

If you are the host:

1) Basic: greet your guests when they arrive. Give them your best and heart-warming smile and invite them in.

2) If a guest offers to bring something to complement the meal, like dessert, pumpkin pie, wine, or some other thing, accept it and make arrangements to serve it to the other guests.

3) For the kids, prepare food they can eat with their fingers with no problem.

4) Make sure to clear the table after each course so it will always look neat.

5) Prepare an area just for the trash that everybody can find and it is not in the way of anybody in the kitchen.

6) Have ready club soda or some other stain remover. You know, accidents happen.

7) Be positive and ... SMILE!

If you are the guest:

1) Arrive on time. If the host is not specific, ask at what time you are expected to arrive. If the host says “between 2 and 3”, arrive at 2:20.

2) Bring a gift (not food).

3) If you are bringing food, bring food that can be at room temperature with no problems and it is not messy.

4) Ask the host where he/she would like you to seat.

5) If you bring kids, ask the host to be seated near the exit of the dining room, so you can take your kids to the kitchen or to the bathroom without bothering other guests.

6) If you have diet restrictions due to a medical condition, let the host know in advance.

7) Be prepared for saying the blessing, just in case you are asked.

8) Offer your help serving and clearing dishes. You host will either accept it or tell you not to worry and enjoy the conversation.

9) Avoid sensitive issues during conversation. Think before you speak.

10) Some families, actually most of them, watch games on television on Thanksgiving Day. If no television is on, leave about one hour after the meal. If the television is on, you are expected to leave after the game ends.

11) Send a “thank you” card to the host.

12) Be positive and ... SMILE!

Thanksgiving is about being grateful for what life has brought us and for the family and friends we have. Make this celebration a wonderful one through proper etiquette and a positive attitude.

Enjoy it! and spread a little Thanksgiving Etiquette.

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