Here Are Some Easy Ways to Be a Better Guest This Thanksgiving
In short, a little effort and self-awareness go a long way.
Hosting is hard. Even if you enjoy it or it's just family that's coming over, there is a still a level of stress that seems to tag along. I've always wanted to host a Thanksgiving, but that will be the day that I'm rich and can cater the entire thing like a Real Housewife.
Until then, I'll keep working on being a great guest.
For that we turn to MarthaStewart.com. I found an article there called "How to Be a Better Guest at Your Family's Thanksgiving Dinner." As it turns out, it doesn't take much to be a better guest. In fact, it's just six easy steps.
1. Pitch in
Find something you can do to help without being asked. Get more ice, set the table, take the trash out... something.
2. Tell the host what you're bringing
First off, don't show up empty-handed. I like to tell people what I'm bringing and then ask them to tell me if they need anything else specifically.
3. Show up on time
No one likes to wait on a tardy guest. Besides, you don't want to walk into the dining room and everyone is already seated watching the food get cold.
4. Put down the phone
Engage with people and make memories that will last. The Internet will still be there when you get back, I promise.
5. Keep conversation light
Lay off of any polarizing conversations like politics. You don't want to make anyone uncomfortable or irritated. Maybe prepare some questions or stories ahead of time.
6. Communicate with your host
Always ask if you can help with something, but also understand that sometimes hosts are better doing things on their own. If they tell you to sit and relax, then do it. But keep that helpful radar up and running, just in case.
While these are all great tips and practices, I've added some of my own below.
Bonus: Never knock someone else's food
Whether the host made it or someone else brought it, be nice. If you don't have something nice to say, then shut it. No one wants to hear about your tummy intolerance or your palate preferences when they slaved away in the kitchen.
Bonus: Clean up after yourself
If everyone just tossed their napkins or took their plates to the sink, gosh things would be easier for the host at the end of the night. You'll also earn brownie points if you offer to do dishes.
Bonus: Say thank you
Shaking their hand or hugging the host along with a heartfelt "thank you" does wonders. This person opened up their home and their heart to you. Everyone wants to know that their efforts were appreciated. Sending a card the next day is also a good idea. When did that go out of style?
Bonus: Don't overstay your welcome
It's great to get the family/friends together, but at some point everyone has got to leave. Offer to help clean up, but if the host says "scram" then you should probably leave.