Last week I shared with you how to organize a Thanksgiving dinner. Now that I’m in my late thirties and having been to and hosted a dinner party or two, I’ve learned what I like in a party guest. So knowing what I like in a party guest, I’ve learned a few tips on how I could be a great party guest too. So, with Thanksgiving dinner right around the corner, I thought I would share with you some tips on how to be a great party guest:
1. Reply to your Thanksgiving dinner party invitation…regardless if you can make it or not. RSVP as soon as possible so the hosts can make plans accordingly. And if you have to decline, simply state that you already have plans. Bottom line…don’t leave the hosts hanging wondering if you’ll be attending.
2. Ask about the dress code. You don’t want to be underdressed or overdressed for the dinner party. To be on the safe side, don’t go too casual. Women can wear a simple dress or nice slacks with dress shoes and a nice cardigan. Men should at least wear some slacks with either a polo, button up shirt along with a sport coat/blazer in case you need to kick it up a notch. Click here for some helpful dress code tips.
3. If you have children, ask the host if children are invited. The last thing you want, is to go to a kid-free dinner party and get looked at as the couple that obviously couldn’t find a baby sitter.
4. Arrive about 10-15 minutes after the start of the dinner party. My retired Air Force husband would disagree because in the military: If you’re early…your on time. If you’re on time…you’re late. If you’re late…well that’s just unacceptable. The rules are slightly different in the civilian world. A great party guest never arrives too early. You don’t want to stress the hosts out as they wrap up last minute details (like finally taking a shower and putting on lipstick ;o) Oh…and if you’re running late, please give the hosts a courtesy call.
5. A great party guest always brings a gift. Nothing too fancy but something that lets the hosts know that you appreciate being invited to their dinner party. Flowers (in a vase) are nice as well as wine ($10-20 dollar range), wine glass trinkets, decorative cocktail napkins, seasonal scented candles or even a small plant.
6. A smart Thanksgiving dinner party guest will bring food storage containers for leftovers. Your hosts (especially family and friends) will be eager to share the Thanksgiving dinner leftovers with you!
7. If kids are invited, be sure to bring your own kids’ toys and maybe some finger food for the kids if you’ve got picky eaters. You don’t want to stress the hosts out with trying to figure out how to find food for the kids or toys to play with….the hosts’ collectible record albums and Cherished Moments figurines are not suitable toy substitutes!
8. Put your mobile device on “time-out”…I mean it! Nothing is more rude than a party guest being constantly distracted by their phone after all the time and prep the hosts put into planning and preparing a party.
9. Thanksgiving dinner can make a big mess. Help the hosts out by offering to help cleanup or at least pick up after yourself and your kids.
10. Stay at least 1 hour after dinner is over….but don’t overstay your welcome either. Your hosts will be pretty worn out by the end of the evening.
11. Compliment the hosts for the dinner and be sure to tell them good-bye to let them know you’re leaving.
12. Most importantly, say thank you. An awesome party guest also sends a thank you card or nice email note 1-2 days after the party.
Alright! Now that you’ve got the skinny on how to be a great Thanksgiving dinner party guest…get out there and show ’em what you got. You’re gonna earn some brownie points, I promise!