Friendsgiving Etiquette | Alyssa J Freitas: Friendsgiving Etiquette

November 13, 2019

Friendsgiving Etiquette

I am so into November. It's finally chilly, I have my few Thanksgiving decorations up (still festive, but not time to go over the top for Christmas), and it's perfectly acceptable to cozy up on a Sunday afternoon at home near the radiator. Another reason I'm into November? So many opportunities to rely on etiquette to help us have a fun time. You'll remember from previous posts that the purpose of etiquette is to help everyone feel at ease, and today I'm excited to jump into Friendsgiving etiquette!
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Check out what you need to know when you attend a friendsgiving!

Find out what to bring

More likely than not the host will suggest dishes that will be good for you to bring (and if they don't, ask!). Please listen to them. They're coordinating a number of guests and have a view of the entire menu, so don't get too creative and diverge. If you do come up with another idea, bring it in addition to what you've been asked. 

Plan ahead

To make sure you don't put yourself in a scramble the day of the event, take a look at your calendar and block time to prepare whatever you need to bring. Show up on time, not too far in advance, and just generally make sure you're ready to be a great guest to help the generous hostess. 

When you arrive, be helpful!

When you arrive it is always good to offer a helping hand to your host. Ask if he or she would like assistance passing out hors d'oeuvres or taking other guests' coats. But get out of the way! Your host is likely to be slightly overwhelmed so be sure to asses what he needs and then move on to talk to other guests; you don't want to be underfoot while he is working.

Keep conversation flowing

If it is an intimate gathering and you know everyone this should be easy enough. However, if you do not know many other guests make an effort to introduce yourself and learn a little about them. Asking how they know the host, where they went to school, where they are from, what they last read, etc. can help get you started.

We all know the feeling of getting through the usual small talk with someone and not knowing where to take the conversation next. This can be particularly difficult when it's someone you don't know well and are unsure of his or her interests. Now is the time to pull out your inner investigator and use some questions to find common ground. Asking about travel experiences and plans, books, music, holiday memories and the like is a good way to start. Be an active listener and make follow up inquiries to keep the conversation going.

...And appropriate

When politics or religion or economic policy discussion comes to the table it doesn't bode well for the enjoyment of all, so avoid it! Yes, it can be fun to have a debate, especially when you are passionate about a subject, but a Friendsgiving dinner is usually not the time or place.

Help cleanup, but know when to leave

When the table is being cleared, ask once if the host needs help, ask twice, and accept denial on the third time. Sometimes a host can't help but begin to straighten up but still wants his guests to enjoy each other's company and linger at the table. Just remember that the host in charge of the meal and guests should follow his lead.

Figuring out when it's time to leave is an art that is somewhat difficult. You do not want to be the last remaining nor do you want to leave too early. If the host has put an end time on the invitation, then this is a straightforward indication of when you should begin to gather yourself. If there isn't a specific end time look to signals from your hostess such as if she remarks on the time or finishes clearing up.

Send a thank you note

There is nothing better then receiving a thank you note after working hard to host a party. Show your appreciation and drop a note in the mail the next day.

Check out more etiquette posts here and the posts that inspired a lot of the points here and here

Anything else you would add? Hope everyone who is attending a Friendsgiving has a fabulous time. 


-Alyssa J

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