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.
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.