Etiquette Tips for Holiday Planning
Whether this is your first or 50th year for hosting a Thanksgiving gathering, it’s a big deal! There’s the guest list and menu to plan, cleaning to be done and considerations of etiquette and manners to make the day enjoyable for everyone. Here are a few tips to celebrate this memorable American tradition with class.
Invitations If you are the host, consider assembling your invite list by the end of this week to establish a “head count.” The Emily Post Institute suggests we begin inviting guests from two months to two weeks prior to Thanksgiving Day. Basically, you want to give people plenty of time to make travel plans and provide enough time for you to get going on grocery shopping. Hit the sales, grab your coupons and plan on a few guests sticking around the following day for leftover turkey sandwiches.
RSVP Although a host or hostess may give you an RSVP deadline, consider responding as soon as the invitation is extended. If you received a “family” invitation, let the host know how many of you can come. Uninvited guests, although welcomed gracefully by a good host, can’t be planned for if not anticipated. Not responding is a giant etiquette faux pas, and one many of us remember for a long time.
Offer to Contribute Once you’ve been invited, you may want to think about contributing something to the meal. Wine, pies, breads, etc… simply ask, “Is there anything you would like me to bring? This is an important lesson to teach our kids. I mastered making homemade pumpkin pies in college because my mom made me (in a roundabout way). She taught me to ask the hosts how I could contribute. Since pie was always requested, I made pie (I couldn’t afford Marie Callender’s).
Order/Pick Up the Meat: I don’t know about you, but menu planning is huge in our house because it’s the food and the company that brings us to the table. Follow “good common sense protocol” and order that bird a.s.a.p. (or beef, which ever you prefer). Last Easter I called the butcher for a leg of lamb Easter week and they were out (dah, Tiffany!). Turkey isn’t hard to find, but testing your luck with 20 people sitting at your table without any sign of delivery on the traditional meat serving they’ve been waiting for all year isn’t something I advise.
Have fun planning and contributing to a beautiful American tradition!