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10 Things Polite People Don't Do at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to come together with loved ones and enjoy a delicious meal. But what if you're the one who's ruining it for everyone else? Here are Ten types of Thanksgiving guests no one wants to have around.

1. The Empty-Handed

Whether you contribute to the meal, bring the host a gift, or both, it's always polite to come with something.

2. The Carcass Dragger*

Do your best to bring your best self to the event. Arrive with a smile and a kind word instead of an immediate list of complaints.

3. The Inquisitor

It is rude to point at food and ask, "What is that?" If you are curious, ask more politely, such as "What smells so delicious?" or "What are we having for dinner?" If you have any food allergies, be sure to let the host know ahead of time.

4. The Late-Comer

Time is a gift so arriving on time or within a reasonable window (up to 15 minutes after the appointed start time) is respectful. If you are bringing the appetizers, you should be on time. Arriving early is also a no-no.

5. The Guest List Crasher

Your host has thoughtfully prepared the guest list, don’t mess with it. Bringing someone who wasn’t invited without checking with the host puts you, the uninvited guest, and the host in an uncomfortable spot.

6. The Phubber

Avoid phubbing (phone snubbing) by giving your undivided attention to the company present. Your phone can wait; the moments you share might not. Phones should be switched to silent and kept away from the table.

7. The Food Police

Don't comment on how much or little someone is eating. It is none of your business.

8. The One Who Makes It Awkward

While lively discussions are part of any gathering, steer clear of sensitive topics like politics, religion, money, health, or difficult relationships.

9. The Over-Plater

Look at the dish and the number of people who will be sharing it. Avoid an overloaded plate. Pace yourself. The same goes for your alcohol consumption.

10. The Kitchen Commando

You should offer to help your host to clean up the mess, but if they decline your offer, believe them. Respect the host's wishes. If they say they don't need help, don't insist.

*Special thanks to the Emily Post Institute for coining this phrase, this like many things really resonated with me during my etiquette training.


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