Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Etiquette Tips

As a general rule, Thanksgiving dinners are most often attended by family members so you may be wondering, "So why do I have to mind my manners around them?"

Because you do, that's why.

If you are a guest, the usual good manners apply.  Some of them include:

Do not bring your hostess cut flowers; bring a small plant instead.  Reason?  With cut flowers, your hostess has to stop everything to get out a vase, put water in that and arrange the flowers.  A small plant means it can be cooed over briefly and then stuck on a table or the mantle piece or anywhere and the chef can get back to the kitchen.

Prior to the meal, do not offer to help.  "What?" you gasp.  The person cooking the food has mapped out a complicted menu in his/her head and already Has A Plan.  "This will be done by the time I do that..."  Don't distract their train of thought.  This is food we're talking about.

When you step in is after the repast.  Guest:  quietly gather up your plate and silverware, offer to take the person's next to you, go into the kitche and scrape and stack both.  Family member:  Stand up and bellow, "I'll be bussing the table in a minute,  so eat up!"

Make your first servings small so that you can go back for "seconds" and melt the chef's heart.

But before the first bite is taken, it is customary to lift a glass and toast the chef.

If grace is to be said and you're asked to say it, do not go all religous and ramble on about Jesus and "things to be thankful for" for about for five minutes.  There are hungry people here.  Do you really want them to be thankful that you finally shut up?

Guest:  if the silver is obviously old and admirable, say so.  Family member:  do not say, "That's Great-Aunt Hilda's gravy ladle!  I was supposed to get that!"

Feed any kids first so that you can then plop them down to watch a video and everyone else can enjoy an adult dinner. 

Never bring your dog.  Exception:  police and seeing eye dogs.  They know how to behave.  

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