Topic of Conversation

Mind Your Manners

Before your pull up to the Thanksgiving meal, update your dinner etiquette with these modernized do’s and dont’s.

DO resist the urge to Instagram your meal. While Thanksgiving may be the #FoodieMoment of the year, whipping out your phone at the table is a major no-no. If your Instagram feed will not be complete without capturing the table, first ask to take a photo of everyone at the table together then quickly (and covertly) snap a photo of your plate before storing away your phone for the rest of the meal.

DO show your appreciation. So maybe your mom’s dish was more of an en flambé marshmallow than a sweet potato casserole, she still took the time and energy to prepare it for everyone to… um… enjoy. Skip the playful teasing and thank her for cooking (after all, it is Thanksgiving) and compliment her spectacular gravy or impeccable hostessing skills.

DO wait until everyone is served before eating. Thanksgiving is the meal everyone has been waiting a full calendar year for and you have been sitting in a house of simmering aromas all day; needless to say, you are eager to dive into your plate. But, if the green bean casserole is still making its way around the table, wait to pick up your fork until all the dishes have been passed or everyone has gone through the buffet line.

DON’T forget the basics. Napkin laid across your lap. Elbows off the table. Chew with your mouth closed. Work from the outside fork inward. Drinking glass on the right. Just because you’re about to stuff yourself silly, doesn’t mean you should nix your everyday manners.

DON’T put your phone on the table. Regardless of how informal your dinner table rules are, keep your phone on silent and out of sight for the duration of the meal. Now is the time to finally catch up with your cousin whom you haven’t seen since last year’s Thanksgiving and they deserve your full attention.

DON’T get sloppy. If this is your first Thanksgiving sitting at the coveted Adults Table, now is not the time for an extra glass of Cabernet. Not only will you run serious risks of spillage (both literal and figurative gossip slip-ups), it just may get you demoted back to the Kiddie Table.