Tag Archives: Thanksgiving etiquette

Thanksgiving Guest Etiquette

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This week as we celebrate that fun-filled food-filled holiday Thanksgiving, I’d like to share a guest post from my friend, colleague, and etiquette expert, Karen Hickman. I hope you enjoy her words of wisdom on how to conduct yourself when you are a guest at a Thanksgiving dinner. I couldn’t have said better so thank you to Karen Hickman.

Thanksgiving starts off with the holiday gatherings in earnest. It’s the time we eat drink and make merry and share good times with family and friends. It is also the time we gather at the dining room table for special meals. So if you have been invited for dinner at someone else’s house, there are some things to keep in mind so you can be the perfect guest. So, here’s some guest Thanksgiving etiquette.

Arrive on time.

Showing up late and keeping everyone waiting or causing the turkey to dry out
doesn’t win any points with your hostess.

Don’t come empty-handed.

Even if your hostess has the meal all taken care of be sure you bring some sort of hostess gift. This is a good time to bring wine or a gourmet food item that the host can use at another time.

If you are assigned a dish, be sure you bring what you signed up for. Make sure it is ready to go in the oven or be served. This can eliminate needless confusion in the kitchen.

Sit where you are assigned.

If place cards are on the table don’t move them around to sit by someone of your choice.

Bring your best manners to the table.

If need be, brush up on your dining etiquette.

Don’t bring your technology to the table!

Bringing your phone to the table is saying that the people you are with aren’t as important as what’s coming through on your phone. Be in the moment!

Make sure your children are supervised and polite.

Holiday time is a good time to review or teach some good manners to your children, especially table manners.

Try a little of everything served.

You may find out that you like that oyster dressing.

Offer to help with the dishes.

Some hosts and hostesses want help cleaning up and some don’t, but it’s important to offer.

Send a thank you

A handwritten note or make a thank-you call to your host and hostess. A lot goes into planning and hosting a big holiday meal. Make sure you acknowledge that.

Most of all…

Be sure and bring your good humor and be tolerant of those who may make you a little crazy at other times of the year. Be of good cheer.

Happy Thanksgiving!

About Karen

Since 1999, Karen Hickman has developed and offered seminars that include: Basic Business Etiquette, Dining Skills, and Succeeding Internationally, to name a few. With a nursing background, she has designed training programs specifically for the medical/dental office and hospital practices called “Professional Courtesy Essentials in Healthcare.”

Recognized nationally for her speaking, training and writing for business and medical publications, she was also a major contributor to the publication, Dishing Up Smiles, for the Alliance of the American Dental Association. Karen wrote a Q&A column for the Fort Wayne News Sentinel called “Contemporary Courtesies” for over 7 years.


Thanksgiving Wishes to All

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To all my loyal subscribers, readers and supporters,

As I sit down to write to you, it is already Thanksgiving “Eve.” Many of you have left the office, some of you are at the grocery store picking up those last minute items and others are in the kitchen putting together Thanksgiving dinner for friends and family. A lucky few are simply relaxing and waiting for tomorrow to head off to someone else’s house. If you are among the latter, don’t forget to take something with you for the host.  Perhaps you offered to bring a dish, the wine or even the centerpiece. Just be sure that you don’t arrive empty-handed and that your host knows what you are bringing.

Most of all whether you are entertaining in your own home or being someone else’s guest, remember to have a heart full of gratitude. That is of course the essence of this holiday. When I began to write this blog post, I intended to publish a list of all that I have to be grateful for. However, as I made my list, it grew to the size of a small book and not an article. Maybe I will make that my next book.

I urge you all to take a few minutes to create a list of all the people and things in your life for which you are grateful.  You might be surprised how long it will be.

For now I will close by saying I am grateful for all of you who read my articles, blogs and newsletters, for all who support me by purchasing my products and for those of you who hire me to speak and train your staff or the members of your organization. You allow Manners That Sell to exist and to thrive, and you allow me to follow my passion for etiquette and manners.

My gratitude to you and my best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving,



Thanksgiving Etiquette: No Texting at the Table

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As usual this week families and friends will be gathered around the table at Thanksgiving to share good food and conversation.  However, something else is liable to occur that is different from your traditional holiday gatherings and flies in the face of Thanksgiving etiquette. One or more of those present may be there in body only because they will have their head down and their thumbs in motion while they text.  How rude is that? But sadly, how commonplace in today’s world. It defies all the rules of etiquette and protocol.

I witnessed this behavior personally last year while dining with friends. One of the family members was there in body only.  He spent the entire meal staring at his phone. As others lingered in conversation, he finally removed himself and found a chair away from the table and continued to be entranced by his mobile device.  It was hard to tell which was the real turkey at the table that day.

May I suggest that if you plan to join others for a meal on Thanksgiving Day that you be fully engaged and fully present. Brush up on your Thanksgiving etiquette. Unless your invitation reads, “John Smith and Phone,” leave your device somewhere out of sight.  What can possibly be more important than  interacting with your family and friends? So Aunt Marha’s stories maybe getting a little old and Uncle Bob may be nodding off, but they are not to be ignored.

If you are so attached to your smart phone that you can’t take your eyes off of it, stay home.  It is insult to those who came to spend time with you and others to text at the table. If you go, take your best manners and Thanksgiving etiquette in lieu of your cellular device.

Honor your family and friends by listening to them and appreciating them if only for a few hours. You may not have the chance again.

Before closing may I remind you that I just published a new eBook for the holidays?  If you have any doubt about the do’s and do nots’ of holiday etiquette, the book, Business Etiquette For The Holidays, is available on my website and in the Kindle Store on Amazon. It is a small investment which will keep you from committing a holiday faux pas.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.