If you have the good fortune of heading over to someone else’s place for Thanksgiving this year, congratulations! You’ll be able to lean back, relax, and truly soak in every moment of the meaningful gathering that is Thanksgiving. But if you aren’t wearing the hat of host, then you’re playing the role of guest, which comes with its own best practices. Here, a few suggestions for being the best possible holiday guest—you know, so you make sure you get invited back to the table next year.
If you’re contributing a dish, bring a serving platter . . . Chances are, your host is busy with other kitchen tasks, or preoccupied with entertaining other guests. If you come with your own serving gear in tow, you’ll be able to set the dish out yourself, which will take one thing off the host’s to-do list.
. . . And the same goes with utensils. We’ve found that no matter whose potluck we’re headed to, the host never seems to have sufficient serving utensils, so be sure to bring a stylish pair. If you’re feeling like being a particularly outstanding party guest, leave the utensils behind as a host or hostess gift!
If you’re not tasked with bringing food, don’t make anything. Really. You might think making your famous smoked salmon blini is a generous gesture, but when you get the the party and discover it’s an Asian night market-themed dinner, you’ll wish you’d brought something other than perishable food instead.
Don’t bring over bouquets. Unless you’re planning on bringing a vase, don’t bring flowers—your host will then be tasked with the chore of finding a vase. Considering the host already has dinner, drinks and guests to worry about, this will only add another element of craziness to the chaos of hosting a party.
Instead, bring something nice for later. Bring a treat like homemade granola that your host can enjoy the next morning after a long night of entertaining. Some thoughtfully-chosen artisanal chocolate, a bag of freshly-roasted coffee or a bottle of something like Port can’t be beat, either.
Follow along as we continue to gear up for Thanksgiving! Earlier on our Thanksgiving Countdown: