Monday, November 24, 2014

8 Great Etiquette Tips for a Better Thanksgiving Experience

8 Great Etiquette Tips for a Better Thanksgiving ExperienceAs Thanks giving quickly approaches, we want to leave you with some important etiquette tips for this time of family gathering. Far too often, people think of these times as ones to dread; for fear of the controversy and awkward moments that have in the past, reared their ugly heads.  Don't put yourself in this situation. Thanksgiving and other holidays can be enjoyed in wonderful ways when we use our manners and empathetic conversational skills.  

You're about to spend Thanksgiving with many personality types, so you deserve to be prepared to make the best out of it.  We found Dianne Gottsman's post on Thanksgiving etiquette to be quite helpful and wanted to pass on the pearls of wisdom. 

1. Know the guest list. If you aren’t hosting Thanksgiving this year, get an idea of who will be attending this year’s festivities. Is Uncle Sam coming? How about your sister-in-law? Knowing who will be a part of the celebration this year will help you mentally prepare some thoughtful questions and conversation starters. Don’t forget to ask about the kids – that will keep the conversation rolling for far longer than you care to imagine.
2. Allow plenty of travel time. If you’ll be driving, give yourself and your family plenty of time in case you encounter traffic congestion or road closures. Arriving calm is a better option than racing in frazzled and late.
3. Bring a hostess gift. A bottle of wine, a scented holiday candle, or festive package of stationery is always a thoughtful gesture. If you plan to give flowers, send them ahead of time so they will arrive before the holiday meal.
4. Offer to bring a dish. If Aunt Susan is preparing the meal, call ahead and ask if there is anything you can bring, such as a side of vegetables or your famous peppermint chocolate cake. If the answer is no, at least you offered. Don’t be shy about offering your help once you arrive. Filling water glasses or serving dessert may be a small gesture but greatly appreciated by your host.
5. Avoid political or religious discussions. Just because it’s family doesn’t mean this is the right time to go down the road of debating religion or politics. Try to keep the conversation on neutral topics, like the sports, hobbies, and exciting travel plans.
6. Be a good listener. Since we are all so used to being hyper-connected, this can be a bit of a challenge. This also means not interrupting. One of the most polite things we can do is give someone our full attention. Following up with thoughtful questions is another way we can show that we are fully engaged in what that person has to say.
7. Bring an activity. A deck of cards is compact enough that you can easily stow it in your purse or pocket. If you notice things are getting a little slow after the meal, ask the host if she would mind if you started up a game of cards.
8. Follow-up with a heartfelt thank-you. Remember to drop a thank-you note in the mail for the hostess within a few days of returning home. We all know the preparation that goes into hosting a large family gathering and an appreciative note is a nice touch after the holiday event has come to an end.
Ontario Bakery has been celebrating family for a long time. Specializing in custom baked goods, we hope you choose us for your next celebration! From us to you, have a happy and well-mannered Thanksgiving! 

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