Thanksgiving Dinner Do’s & Dont’s

written by Winnie Wangui 18th November 2015

Thanksgiving is practically one week away and this is the perfect time to start planning what you will be doing. Plan your menus, prepare a grocery list, finalize your guest list, choose the best hiding spot for the bottle of Vodka and prepare to have fun times with friends and family over great home-made food.

Thanksgiving is the most wholesome of family holidays; no gifts, no costumes, just food, family, friends and a lot to be thankful for. However, if you are planning to host a dinner or to attend one, there are a few things you should avoid doing that can make everything go sour in a split second.

Here are a few do’s and dont’s for this family holiday that you should follow in order to have a smooth celebration.


Manage your Guest’s Expectations


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Whether your dinner is on a tight budget or you are planning to go all out, it is good to inform your guests what to expect. When inviting them, mention what kind of dinner you have planned so that they don’t come expecting a casual dinner only to find it is actually something you¬† need to dress up for.

Specify a convenient time for your guests to come in

Do's and Dont's of Thanksgiving dinner

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The time for guests to arrive is yours to decide as the host. Make sure you set a time that will be comfortable for you to have everything ready to avoid juggling tending to guests and trying to finish up on cooking at the same time. This will only be a recipe for disaster.

Plan a balanced, well-rounded menu

Do's and Dont's of Thanksgiving dinner

As much as you want your guests to have enough food to eat, making too many varieties of dishes may end up being a mix of flavours that cannot blend together. When planning the menu, make sure everything you intend to prepare blends together to avoid the food from looking like a mush on a plate

If you are a guest, Offer help

Do's and Dont's of Thanksgiving dinner


Your host started planning for the dinner a while back so the least you can do is offer help on the D day. Simple tasks like setting the table, carrying dishes from the kitchen and even clearing the table and helping to clean up once dinner is over are great ways to help out.



Don’t bring a tag along friend without requesting the host first

Do's and Dont's of Thanksgiving dinner

If you have been invited for Thanksgiving dinner and you have a lonely friend with no where to go, don’t tag them along. Your host planned everything to cater for the invited guest. Adding one more person will make them more stressed out and your guest might end up being bored the whole time since you will probably¬† be the only person they know.

As a host, Don’t use paper plates

Do's and Dont's of Thanksgiving dinner

People tend to use paper plates to avoid cleaning up especially when they have invited a large group of guests. Instead of seeing it as a lot of work to clean up, see it as many more hands to help out. Thanksgiving is a time to unleash the fine china otherwise what would you be saving them for?

Don’t ask guests about their food preferences

Do's and Dont's for thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving has its own common menu that is found in every home which includes turkey, pies, veggies and other common thanksgiving foods. If you have guests who don’t like those foods then they simply don’t have to come. Unless of course one has allergies to various foods then don’t change your whole menu because one guest doesn’t like sweet potatoes.

Don’t criticize the host’s recipe or give other alternative suggestions

Do's and Dont's for thanksgiving dinner

As a guest this is just plain rude. Don’t talk about how you love dressing with oysters when there is no oyster dressing on the table. And if your recipes are better than those used by the host, don’t go on and on with suggestions on how they could have made a dish better yet they slaved in the kitchen all day for that meal.


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