Commentary by Beverly Randolph
Thanksgiving is celebrated with gratitude in our hearts, yet it can be one stressful day! With these tips, avoid any “Gobble Squabble.”
Hosts, guests know when you’re stressed. Early on, organize and enlist help. Assign duties, such as greeting guests, the honor of opening wine bottles, ensuring the “necessary” is clean and stocked, ice is supplied, and that the whereabouts for refuse and recycling is known and managed. Organize room for coats and shoes, a place for children to play and adults to escape. Double up on gravy boats, and place wine, or selected beverage, and water at both ends of the table. To express thanks for food, family and friends of all faiths or not, have both grace for the religious and a heartfelt, brief toast for the secular.
Before watching the Packers vs. Bears, relocate to another part of the house, or to an outdoor patio with warm blankets and a roaring fire, to enjoy the dessert course. Offer after dinner drinks, coffees and have steaming mugs of hot chocolate with whipped cream. What memories will be made in that setting!
Guests, what can you do? During your RSVP, inform of any dietary concerns. Be prompt, never early. Whether asked or not, bring something. Gourmet olive oils for future use or something helpful for the next day, such as granola, breads and bacon for delicious day-after sandwiches is appreciated. Unless directed, do not bring foods requiring precious oven time. Brief toasts should be raised to the hosts, cooks, and absent friends. Assist with clean-up and ask for an assignment. Within 12 hours, e-mail, text or call to show your appreciation followed by your handwritten note.
Lastly, if celebrating at a restaurant, etiquette still applies, including a gratuitous tip as the staff are away from their family and friends.