How to be a Good Guest on Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, be an A+ guest by following these helpful tips, so you can keep your invite for years to come.

houseguests eating

Getting ready for Thanksgiving is not always easy, but is necessary when hosting to make sure your house is shipshape. If you’re not hosting Thanksgiving at your house this year, lucky you. You may be thinking it’s your chance to kick your feet up and relax while someone else does all the work. Not so fast. This Thanksgiving, be an A+ guest by following these helpful tips.

Plus, to make sure the day goes smoothly, here are 12 must-haves for a successful Thanksgiving.

Don’t Crowd the Kitchen

It’s true you may get to taste test a few dishes before the meal if you hang out near the action, but the cooks need space to get the job done. Here are kitchen mistakes you need to stop making.

Be on Time

Nobody likes holding a meal for a few late stragglers. Also, don’t be too early as this can increase the pressure the host is likely already feeling. Here are our tips for how to be a good party host.

Come Prepared

If you’ve been asked to bring a dish, make sure it’s finished as much as possible so you don’t take up valuable space in the kitchen. Bring it ready to be served in your own bowl with your own utensils.

Get your home ready for Thanksgiving by doing these crucial projects before guests come.

Bring a Thoughtful Gift

Wine is nice, but give something the host will be able to enjoy after everyone leaves, such as artisan chocolates, a gift card to a bookstore or movie passes.

Help Work the Room

While the host is busy in the kitchen, talk to other guests and make sure people are comfortable. Offer to get older guests a beverage and help the kids get set up with a board game while everyone is waiting for dinner.

Be Upfront About Dietary Issues

If you have a dietary issue or allergy, make sure the host knows about it at least a week before the Thanksgiving meal.

Help With the Clean-Up

Offer to clear the table after the meal. You can even load the dishwasher or get started on dishes and wiping up the counters. This is the ultimate kitchen cleaning checklist.

Put Your Phone Away

Good guests socialize in person. While it’s OK to take some photos, stay off your phone as much as possible.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.