Yea, in this the eleventh month, the time speedily cometh for the giving of thanks. Verily, it is a time for merriment and rejoicing with companions and kin. But lo, it is also ripe with the stink of awkwardness of manners most foul. Behold, before thou feast upon the flesh of turkeys and the potatoes of sweetness, enlighten thine mind upon these, the 10 Thanksgiving Etiquette commandments.
In other words, November is here and Thanksgiving is coming fast. While we celebrate with our friends and family, there are plenty of opportunities to fall into awkward situations and bad manners. So before diving into the turkey and sweet potatoes, read up on these 10 Thanksgiving Etiquette tips and avoid a mob of angry villagers or in-laws.
10 Thanksgiving Etiquette Commandments
Thou shalt RSVP
If a host is kind enough to invite you to dinner, remember to send a reply so they can make enough food for everyone. Otherwise, they could make too little food if you arrive unexpectedly or too much food if you don’t arrive at all. Also, if the invitation allows you to bring guests, inform the host how many will be attending with you.
To reply, we suggest sending a reply via carrier swallows or a message attached to an arrow. However, keep in mind that a message may affect the airspeed velocity of a swallow, regardless if it is African or European. Also, most hosts frown upon the use of replying by arrow. Instead, consider messaging them by mail, email, or even by phone.
Thou Shalt Arrive On Time
If your host has asked you to arrive at a specific time, do them the courtesy of arriving at that time. Arriving too early can cause embarrassment, as now you force yourself to make small talk with the other guests who arrive too early as the host finishes preparing the meal. Or if you arrive too late, then you force yourself to fight for the remaining scraps against a rabbit with nasty, big, pointy teeth. We recommend avoiding this option at all costs as it has a vicious streak a mile wide.
For example, if the host says for you to arrive at three, then you shall arrive at three. No more, no less. Three shall be the number you shall arrive at, and the number you shall arrive at be three. Four shall you not arrive at, neither at two, excepting that you then proceed to three. Five is right out.
Thou Shalt Ask to Help
Preparing a Thanksgiving dinner requires a lot of work. You can offer to help by bringing a dish or setting the table and decorations. However, not all hosts will want the help, so if they decline, respect their wishes and refrain from telling them their mother was a hamster and their father smelt of elderberries.
If you are asked to provide a dish, try to select one that is considerate to people’s allergies or dietary preferences. Also, keep in mind that not everyone likes to feast upon lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, for example.
Thou Shalt Be Patient
When it is time to eat, respectfully wait for the oldest adult to sit first before taking your seat. After all, we’re knights of the round table, we dance when’er we’re able. We do routines and… we forgot where we were going with this. Anyways, respect your elders.
In addition to waiting for the elderly, wait for your host to sit before eating. Also, don’t go to Camelot. It’s a silly place.
Thou Shalt Eat Politely
Even while around your family, don’t forget your manners. Some basics to remember include: don’t reach across the table, don’t chew with your mouth open, don’t rest your arms on the table, and don’t talk with your mouth full. If you do, we will have no choice but to say, “NI!”
If you truly want to be respectful (and impress or confuse local villagers), learn how to practice dining etiquette. Do you know which fork to use for a salad and which spoon to use for soup? Do you know what to do with your napkin? How do you politely tell your opponent that you cut off their arm and it’s more than “just a flesh wound?”
Thou Shalt Put Your Cellphone Away
Don’t be an empty-headed animal food trough wiper. Your Facebook messages and texts can wait. Remember that not everyone is lucky enough to celebrate Thanksgiving with others. Take some time to talk with the people around you.
If there are people present you do not know, ask some simple questions to get to know them. What is their name? What is their quest? What is their favorite color? What is the capital of Assyria? What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? African or European? Simple questions like that.
Thou Shalt Avoid Touchy Topics
While talking at the table, embarrassing topics, painful subjects, or confrontations. For instance, it would not be polite to accuse your mother-in-law of being a witch, even if she has a weird nose, a pointy hat, turned someone into a newt, or weighs less than a duck.
Also, avoid topics that might cause too much of a controversy. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate what you are thankful for, not to point out to your uncle that strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.
Thou Shalt Offer to Clean
After everyone has finished eating, offer to clean up the dishes. As mentioned before, it takes a lot of work to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner. A few additional hands can speed the clean up much faster. However, your host may still decline your offer. Do not accuse them of being so ungallant as to refuse your hospitality.
Thou Shalt Say Thank You
Giving thanks can go a long way. Imagine that, with an entire holiday called Thanksgiving. You could provide a small gift such as a shrubbery. One that looks nice and is not too expensive.
Or, if you are feeling particularly generous, you could build a rabbit made of wood. And once night falls, you can leap out of the rabbit and take the French by surprise. Not only by surprise, but totally unarmed. On second thought, a simple thank you note seems good enough.
Thou Shalt Drive Responsibly
After the celebrating has ended, remember to clap your coconuts responsibly. Stay focused on the road, especially if its slick and icy, and be mindful of young children who might be playing as well.
Importantly, do not drink and drive. If you attend a gathering where alcohol is expected, select a designated driver beforehand, even if that driver must be Sir Robin.
Ye Olde Safety Trainings
We at Safety Provisions and Hard Hat Training offer a variety of safety trainings that can help make sure your holiday is a fun and safe one. You can find any of these trainings on our website:
Emergency Response Training: Emergencies can happen at any time, even during the holidays. Prepare yourself and your family with this training. Note that we are still developing the section on what to do when you encounter the Dreaded Beast of Aaaauuuggggghhhh!
Fire Extinguisher Training: Kitchen fires happen, especially while trying to cook candied yams. Learn what to do to put out the dreaded marshmallow fire, you who can summon fire without flint or tinder.
Nutrition and Food Safety Training: Learn some nutrition basics as well as how to properly prepare a meal to avoid causing foodborne illnesses during the holidays. No need for someone to come around with a cart crying, “Bring out your dead!”
Have fun, be safe, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!