Thanksgiving Etiquette for Students

Ah, Thanksgiving….a time for turkey, loud family arguments, and trying to survive handling your mother’s stress levels. 

All jokes aside, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because now that I’ve been in school for a while, it’s one of the only holidays that I get to actually go home and see my whole family. That said, sometimes family drama makes holidays a little too interesting, if you catch my drift.

Here’s how to enjoy Thanksgiving the classy way, without popping a single blood vessel 🙂

Don’t arrive too early or too late. If you get there too early, chances are your mom or whoever does the bulk of the cooking is still going to be bustling about the kitchen at warp speed. Seeing you could make the cook feel even more stressed because they know that you’re basically waiting to be fed and they’ll feel pressured to work faster. Getting there too late is even worse though because the host will feel like you couldn’t appreciate their efforts enough to arrive on time. Plus sometimes the host will decide to not serve until all guests are at the table so if you’re late, there’s a great chance the food will be cold and everyone at the table will basically hate you. So time things right; best way is to ask the host what time to arrive.

NEVER EVER bring an uninvited guest! Cannot stress this enough, particularly if you’re eating with family. Bringing a surprise somebody is the essence of rudeness. If you want to bring ole Billy Bob from the block then just do the host a favor and ask beforehand if it’s okay for you to bring them. This lets the host have time to figure out where to set them at the table and to prepare more food, if needed.

Offer to help serve or clean up. Your host probably busted their butt to pull the day off, so the least you can do it help them out by setting food out, clearing the dishes, or babysitting the wee one while Mom’s busy. That said, some people like doing things all themselves so if that’s the case, don’t insist on helping.

Remember your basic table manners. This includes: keeping your napkin on your lap while eating, passing the food around the table to those who want it, chewing with your mouth closed, and of course using your ‘please’ and ‘thank you’s’. This isn’t hard stuff.

Keep conversation on light topics. This means, don’t bring up heavy topics like politics, the status of relationships, etc. It’s just not very good for keeping a happy atmosphere.Along with this goes, be friendly. Even if you don’t want to hear your grandpa’s third rendition of his war story, just listen to it.

Remember these tips and your Thanksgiving can go a bit more smoothly than the usual. Enjoy the turkey 🙂


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