Thanksgiving usually marks the beginning of the holiday season and it’s a time that families get together to reminisce. This can be a very pleasant time IF both host and guest mind their manners.

Here are a few etiquette tips that will help to make the time together pleasant:

 

For hosts:

  • Be honest. When a guest ask what they should bring, tell them.
  • Be ready to receive guests. Don’t let them see you sweating in the kitchen. Don’t make them feel compelled to help out with the dinner — they came to eat, not prepare.
  • Try not to give a detailed account of the dinner’s preparation (e.g., “I made the stuffing at midnight! I got up at the crack of dawn to boil the sweet potatoes”).
  • Be on time. If you’ve asked guests to come at 5 p.m., don’t make them wait until 7 p.m. to eat.
  • Let guests eat in peace. Do not keep asking them if they need anything.
  • Be gracious when your cooking is complimented. No one will know you left out an ingredient unless you tell them.
  • If you discover that someone is a vegan, don’t make a big deal out of it. They’ll know to skip what they can’t eat.
  • When it’s time to clear the table, try not to enlist the help of every guest at the table. And don’t disappear into the kitchen to wash the dishes. This looks like you’re trying to get a leg up on things. If you have a small kitchen, loading the dishwasher is okay but don’t run it.
  • Toast your guests, thanking them for being a part of the day.
  • Try not to yawn in front of your company. This may look like you’re bored or sleepy.

For guests:

  • Don’t be late. There is no excuse.
  • Don’t go casual. Dress up in respect for your hosts and the holiday.
  • Even if your hosts said they don’t need anything, take a bottle of something or a small gift.
  • If you’ve offered to bring a dessert, bring dessert, not a platter of deviled eggs as a surprise.
  • Offer to help, but don’t barge into the kitchen and start doing things.
  • Don’t just grab a seat at the table; your host may have a seating plan.
  • Before the meal, wash your hands without making a general announcement.
  • If you have dietary restrictions, let your host know in advance.
  • Don’t talk about your diet and how you’re being a bad girl as you butter your second roll.
  • If you have a lonely friend with no place to go, don’t just invite them along hoping that your host will understand. Your friend will only feel lonelier when there’s no seat for him/her at the table.
  • Within 48 hours after Thanksgiving say thank you to your hosts.

Be a savvy guest and make your host feel special too and you’ll be invited back next Thanksgiving.

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