If you’re lucky enough to be attending a Thanksgiving feast instead of hosting one, then your first instinct may be to merely show up and get ready to dig in. Not so fast! Although your gracious host or hostess will most likely insist to bring nothing except yourself, you won’t necessarily want to heed those words.
Why not show your appreciation by sending–or arriving with–a small token of your gratitude for the host’s Thanksgiving invitation?
Bringing wine to a Thanksgiving feast is always a popular choice. Sometimes it’s smart to bring a bottle of red and white to cover all the bases. Or, consider bringing a bottle of wine and a bottle of sparkling juice for the non-drinkers.
Sending your hosts a lovely Thanksgiving-themed flower arrangement for the feast is a thoughtful gesture. Send the flower arrangement a day ahead of time to ensure it gets there in plenty of time. If you really want to impress, send an arrangement that reflects your hosts’ style. If they have more modern and simple tastes, then go with a beautiful orchid arrangement in Autumn colors. If your hosts have more traditional tastes then consider a festive flower cornucopia centerpiece.
Include a personalized message indicating how much their Thanksgiving invitation means to you.
Some people are always tempted to arrive to a Thanksgiving get-together with food. Unless the host asked you to bring something specific–or if it is a potluck–then bringing food isn’t always the best idea. You might bring a dish that clashes with the cook’s menu or they might not have enough room for any more food.
If you’re absolutely set on bringing food, then go with a dessert or appetizer instead. Another alternative is to bring a bag of nice coffee to serve after the meal.
You can always bring a small hostess gift–like a candle or wine glasses–but the ideas above are more suitable since they are appropriate to the Thanksgiving meal itself.
Before you hit the couch to watch football, exercise good manners by offering your host to help with clean-up efforts. Although you’ll most likely get turned down since most hosts prefer to clean and organize their own way, it is always a nice gesture to offer your help.
One last tip–time your exit wisely. Please don’t be rude by eating and leaving very soon after the meal. Be sure to offer your help with any clean-up and stick around and socialize for a while. Take your cues from the other guests–once they start clearing out then it is acceptable for you to start saying your goodbyes. Never be the first–or last–to leave unless you are asked to be!
Happy Thanksgiving–savor the time with your loved ones!