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Enjoying Thanksgiving with family and friends

Ruth Haag • Nov 26, 2013 at 3:10 PM

We have all had some great times with family and friends at holiday meals, as well as some not so great times.  Here are some ideas to help make Thanksgiving with the family go well this year:

If you are the host:

-Plan that someone who comes may be a vegetarian, and plan enough vegetables for them

-If some members of the family don’t get along well, set out name cards at the table places before everyone comes, so that the people who don’t like one another won’t sit near each other

-Accept offered help in the kitchen

-Try not having a children’s table.  Children really don’t like having to sit with other children that they don’t know real well

-Note the football game times and plan the meal time around them

If you are the guest:

-Bring along a small host gift; some wine, a dessert, a flower arrangement.  It is polite and the host will like it

-If you are vegetarian or have a special diet, eat what you can, but don’t mention your diet; you can eat more later when you go home

-Make sure that your children have something along that they can play with if they get bored

-Don’t jump up to check the football game during the meal

-Offer to help with the dishes; you don’t have to be female to do this

-If you don’t like someone who is present, make sure that you stay on the other side of the room from them

-Don’t answer your cell phone during the meal

-Just for this one meal, try not to discuss your medical problems

-If you have teenagers who really don’t want to go to the event, plan something special after the gathering that they will enjoy (we laughingly call this a “bribe”)

As I write this I am imagining the reader who just reads one section and instantly wants to comment: “Stay on the other side of the room from someone! Ruth, you must not get along with your family!”  After you feel like making this comment, I want you to really notice all of the people at your Thanksgiving gathering; is someone staying on the other side of the room from you?

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