Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time for loved ones to come together for a special meal, but these gatherings aren’t always harmonious. Everything from cooking stress to tense conversations can derail the dinner, and some behaviors only make things worse.
To keep things light and peaceful on Turkey Day, these are the faux pas to avoid, according to etiquette experts.
- Not RSVP-ing - Headcounts are important for big meals like Thanksgiving, so let the host know if you’re coming so they can plan accordingly. And don’t show up with a plus-one without telling the host first.
- Ignoring the schedule - Respect the host’s plans for the day and make sure you know when you’re expected to arrive to eat as a group. You don’t want to keep a house full of hungry people waiting because you couldn’t decide which shoes to wear.
- Bringing dishes that require cooking - Thanksgiving hosts often invite guests to contribute to the meal, but don’t expect to show up and take over their kitchen. They’re likely fighting for space as it is, so don’t bring anything that requires the stove or oven.
- Starting tense conversations - Talking about religion or politics can easily get people heated and things can turn awkward fast. To avoid that, try not to engage or encourage divisive topics and you can always excuse yourself from the table if you need a quick getaway.
- Prying into people’s personal business - This includes giving parenting advice, correcting someone else’s kids or asking intrusive questions about people’s bodies, lifestyles or relationship status. Sticking to safe topics like musical events, bestselling books, sports and food can help.
- Asserting yourself in the kitchen without being asked - The host is in charge of the meal, so let them decide how to season and prepare the food without giving your opinions.
- Assuming you can take home leftovers - The people who prepared the food may invite you to take leftovers, but don’t go asking for a doggie bag if it’s not offered.
- Hanging around too long after dinner - Don’t overstay your welcome. When you see others grabbing their coats, it’s time for you to do the same.
Source: Huff Post