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BellaOnline's Etiquette Editor

Being a Guest at Thanksgiving

So youíre going to so-and-soís place for Thanksgiving. Is this a good thing? Are you looking forward to seeing them and all those who are also attending? Do you anticipate fun and laughter or do you cringe at the thought of spending a day with people you donít necessarily like? Has it been too long since you gathered with these old friends and relatives? Or do you prefer not having to talk to any of them? Is watching football with these people the only thing you are looking forward to?

Regardless of how you feel, you are going to go. And how you approach it wonít just affect you and your day, but everyone else whoís there. If you make the decision to be kind and considerate and a good guest, not only will you enjoy yourself, but others will enjoy your company too. Thatís one reason to be thankful. Think of this as social graces 101.

To be a good guest, call ahead and offer to bring something. In my more recent article about hosting Thanksgiving, I give the host or hostess permission to assume that you as the guest will offer to bring something. Make sure to offer because thatís what considerate people do. If you donít want to be considerate, you probably shouldnít attend because you are probably only being invited to be nice, not because anyone wants you there. Aside from a nice bottle of wine, let them you know you make a mean appetizer or a yummy dessert. If the host/hostess insists that they donít want anything, bring a big bouquet and call it good.

Upon arrival, offer to help. That doesnít mean folding your arms across your chest and saying, ďyou donít need help, do you?Ē That just sounds like the only reason you are there is because you like watching football on their TV rather than yours. You need to donne an apron and assist.

Really thatís it. This is the spirit of giving at its best and when you are giving from the heart everything else falls into place. Give your host/ess the consideration of a call and offer to bring something. Arrive with items in your hands, a smile on your face and a willingness to assist. Then go be part of the festivities by offering your help with whatever needs to be done.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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