Proper Etiquette: A Thankful Guest

For those of you who decided not to host Thanksgiving dinner this year and have been invited by a friend or relative to their Thanksgiving celebration, this post is for you.  Keep these etiquette tips in mind and you’ll surely be a wonderful and classy guest.

  • RSVP.

Ideally the host/hostess sent out invitations(or, at the very least, asked personally)about a month before Thanksgiving, so your RSVP turn around should be about 2 weeks.  A lot of places require at least 2 weeks prior when ordering a Turkey(or ham), so make sure your host/hostess knows in enough time if he/she is ordering food.

  • Offer to contribute to the meal.

Always offer to bring something, especially if you have dietary restrictions, such as vegetarian or gluten-free.  This way, your host won’t have to worry about making a special dish just for you and you’ll be guaranteed something to eat.

  • Dress appropriately.

Your host/hostess put in a great effort to prepare a Thanksgiving celebration, so the least you can do is look polished and put together.  You want to look like you put in just as much effort to make the celebration wonderful as the hostess did, so don’t show up in a t-shirt and ripped jeans.  If you need tips on what to wear for Thanksgiving, look here.

  • Arrive on time.

You should never be late to anything, especially an event you’ve been invited to.  If the time isn’t specific, arrive sometime in between.   For example, if the host/hostess says between 3 and 4, get there around 3:20 or 3:30.

  • Be respectful.

Not everyone has the same belief system, but for some families, saying a blessing before the Thanksgiving meal is a tradition.  Other traditions may occur during the celebration, as well.  Whatever your beliefs or traditions, you are a guest and need to be respectful.  If you are not sure how to participate, follow the lead of others.  As they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

  • Offer to help clean up.

After the meal, if the host/hostess begins cleaning up, offer to help.  It’s just common courtesy.

  • Say thank you.

You can say this after the meal and/or before you leave, but definitely say thank you.  You want the host/hostess to know you appreciate the time and effort they put forth and the hospitality they showed you.

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