The Thanksgiving tips crowding magazine pages and cooking shows frequently focus on the host and their concerns. If you’re fortunate enough to be a guest, your role on the big day is smaller. Want to be an exceptional guest and help out your host? We have some tips for you from The Kitchn and Design Sponge.
RSVP on time.
If someone invites you to Thanksgiving, be sure to RSVP as soon as possible so they have time to plan their meal accordingly.
If you’re planning to bring a plus one or want to inquire about bringing a friend who doesn’t have anywhere to spend the holiday, ask the host ahead of time so they can prepare or see if they have room.
Ask your host if you can bring anything.
Making all that food is no joke – ask if you can bring anything like a side or maybe a pie. If you have allergies, this is your time to make something you definitely can eat. Notify your host in advance of any dietary issues.
If the meal is Thanksgiving potluck, or you've volunteered to make something, bring your own serving bowl and utensils.
Don't expect your host to have all the proper utensils and pretty bowls to put your food in. Either ask in advance, or bring your own stuff.
Be attentive and avoid your phone.
Being a good guest means socializing – don't obsessively check your e-mail or Twitter. That said, you should of course take photos of what you're eating, and who you're with.
Repeat after me: I will NOT complain during Thanksgiving. I don't care if the turkey is dry or the stuffing is awful, just please don't express your feelings to the host. If you can't eat some of the food, fine, but don't say it out loud.
Help in the Kitchen.
If your host insists that they don’t need help, stay out of the kitchen. Assisting with the clean-up is the best thing you can do to help your host. There are a lot of dishes to be done, so let your host tell you where to help and do your best.
Unless someone specifies that super-casual is the name of the game, dress in a way that shows respect for the person who has put so much work into feeding and caring for your group.
There are two things to remember at family events. One, avoid controversial topics that are likely to make others feel uncomfortable. Two, engaging in discussion is part of being a polite guest. Be a nice guest and try to make conversation with your host and the other guests.
Make sure your children behave.
You have to admit that other people may not feel your children are as adorable as you do. Make sure they do not scream, run around, or offend other guests. Bring games, toys, or other items to keep your kids busy.
Bring your host a small gift.
Bringing your host a small, thoughtful gift shows your thanks for all their work. While a good wine or a nice cheese is always a great idea, something more creative is always nice. Ideas include: muffins or coffee cake for breakfast the next morning; items for making turkey sandwiches – artesian bread, flavored mayo, leaf lettuce – arranged in a basket; a seasonal pot plant or herb; or a gift from your kitchen – homemade cookies, sauces, mixes, or candies.
We wish you and yours a warm, wonderful, and safe Thanksgiving. We appreciate the trust you have placed in us.
The Dean & Draper offices will be closing on Wednesday, November 25 and will reopen on Monday, November 30.
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