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Things To Avoid During Thanksgiving Dinner

The holiday of Thanksgiving brings loved ones together to relax and share a special meal. The fact remains that this holiday is not always regarded as a peaceful one. Thanksgiving dinners can be derailed by everything from cooking stress to tense conversations. Experts give tips for avoiding rude behaviors at holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving.

Jodi R.R. Smith, president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, said, “Being together with family for holidays can be wonderful. It makes the difference between enjoying interactions and dreading them when you plan and think strategically.”

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RSVPing Is Not Mandatory

Thanksgiving is a big meal, so let the host know you’re coming early. Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert, said, ” It is a good idea to send out holiday invitations at least three to four weeks in advance.” RSVPs don’t cover guests unless explicitly discussed, so avoid showing up with an uninvited guest. Unexpected additions may leave your host with insufficient seats, food, or place settings.

Not Paying Attention To The Schedule

Smith said, “If you’re going to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving festivities, make sure you know the schedule of events and plan accordingly.” Ensure you know when you are expected to arrive for the meal and respect the host’s planning.

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Getting Into People’s Personal Lives

Gottsman said, “Don’t give parenting advice or correct someone else’s children or ask awkward questions such as ‘Why aren’t you married?’ or ‘Are you going to have kids?'” For peace of mind on Thanksgiving, consider practicing some “preemptive etiquette” ahead of time. Whenever you feel targeted, don’t hesitate to deflect. It is not necessary to respond to every question.

Arriving Empty-Handed

Guests appreciate a small gift as a token of gratitude and courtesy. Smith suggested bringing an activity as a hostess gift. “It could be a board game, a movie, anything to help structure the unstructured time. Plan a workout if you’re together for more than just the meal.