Thanksgiving Etiquette 101


I'm hoping to catch some of you before you commit Holiday Faux Pas that could get you 1) cut 2) disinherited or 3) shamed. There are some basic rules of etiquette about this Thanksgiving dancerie. (Yes, dancerie is a word, please check with the MJB dictionary if you don't believe me.) Back to the topic at hand: If you are the least bit unsure of what to do, just don't do it. Please... don't get beat down with a turkey leg or find yourself eating a turkey sammich at the airport Subway with the imprint of someone's boot on your hindparts. Do the right thing...

1) Don't show up unannounced or uninvited to Thanksgiving dinner unless it's an immediate relative. Your friends may love you but this is a family holiday. Unless you've been invited, showing up is no bueno. Showing up with several extra mouths to feed is just as bad. And even if it is an immediate family relative...

2) Don't show up empty-handed unless you're prepared to do work. Forget what you heard, it's not cute to show up late, plunk down in front of the TV and ask "When's dinner going to be ready?" No. Bring a bottle of wine, a pitcher of kool-aid, extra napkins... something! Or get in the kitchen and offer to stir, chop, set something.

3) Even though we fam and all? This is not your opportunity to play twenty questions about folks' life. That means not asking the single people why they ain't married. Not asking the married people when they putting some beans in the oven. Not asking the ratchet side of the fam how the parole hearing went. Just sit down and make chit-chat about turkey, weather and football. (H/T to @TiffanyNHouston for her FB update yesterday)

4) We're all in this together. Respect the personal space. This means that cousin Tay-Tay needs to lay off the fake Giorgio perfume cloud she usually douses herself in, Uncle Charlie shouldn't be smelling of the Jack Daniels' distillery at 10:00am and Lil Junior needs a healthy supply of fresh diapers on hand. I'm just saying. Family funk is still funky.

5) If you cannot cook, please 6lb 9oz Baby Jesus - go pick something up from Whole Foods. Do not show up with some tore up leaves swimming in bacon fat and call it greens. No. Thanksgiving is no time to experiment with grown folks' stomach linings. Crescent rolls are always a win. A fruit tray says "I respect your intestinal tract" - know your limitations people.

6) If this isn't your mother's house and you show up with your own Tupperware/Aluminum foil, you have failed at life. 

7) If you are a bringing a brand new snuggle-buddy to Turkey Time, expect aforementioned date to be eyed up one side and down the other. To be grilled, talked about and basically put through 10 of the first 20 torture practices from Guantanamo Bay. I don't recommend holidays for the initial family meet-n-greet. It's too much pressure all the way around. But if you and your new boo get down like that? Hope you are thick-skinned and locked and loaded. Also, be prepared to be asked about your 2011 cuddle-cocoa for years to come. "Whatever happened to...?"

8) If you are a guest in someone's home (unless that is your childhood home), please don't act like you're at home. Ya feel me? Keep all your nasty questionable unhygienic personal habits to yourself. I say this having had a guest who felt comfortable going to the restroom and leaving the door open AND carrying on a conversation while doing their business. #WDDDA?

9) If you are not a sports fan... this is not your day. You already know that at least two (this year three) professional football games will be on. People will want to watch them. If you don't care to participate, bring a book or your laptop or a deck of cards - something to keep you from complaining about the game being on all day long. It's Thanksgiving... football happens. Get over it.

10) Last but not least... don't be the family member who sips one cup too many of the spiked cider and starts cutting a fool. Don't be that person. Airing all the family biz and calling folks out their name while you drop verses from "Watch the Throne" helps nobody. Waking up the next morning in the garage wrapped in a snuggie with nothing but an empty rum bottle for company is just pathetic. Ease up on the liquid cheer so you don't have to apologize every day until Christmas.

[Bonus rule for the social media folks: Do not. I repeat. Do NOT! take pictures of your food plate and send them out into the innanets unless you KNOW they look edible and delicious. No one wants to see that mess. And you will get retweeted and talked about. Please and thank you.]

Good people, these are just the basics. We'll see how you do with these and then we'll step it up to the next level for Christmas. In the meantime... did I miss any? Do share and hey... let's be bougie out there. Happy Thanksgiving!