Modern Manners – Etiquette for Thanksgiving


With the Holidays right around the corner, families and friends are gearing up to travel and visit with their loved ones, spending the most “thankful” time of the year together. The snow has fallen and the decorations have been set, now it is finally time to toast with those we cherish most as the turkey roasts in the oven. Occasionally people may find themselves in a predicament when conversing and catching up with their family and friends. They may not know what is appropriate to talk about, what conversations to disregard and topics to keep to themselves. We are going to acknowledge some important “Thanksgiving Table Etiquette” to help with the modern manners and mend some forthcoming conversations.

Often during family gatherings, you may find yourself stuck conversing with family members who tend to ask more probing questions than we would prefer.  In order to bypass awkward scenarios and uneasy conversations we have a few tips.

  • Come prepared with conversation starters
  • Avoid political and religious discussions, and keep conversations on neutral topics
  • Ask others about themselves, and be a good listener
  • Avoid complaints. Take this season as a reminder of what’s positive
  • Acknowledge lost loved ones, remember them in a light-hearted and happy way, and give your condolences when appropriate
  • Keep conversations pleasant and concise—especially if there are many people to catch-up with
  • If you have any big announcements, make them before or after dinner

Today, society seems to be tethered to their digital devices and are simply forgetting how to interact face to face. With the rarity that it may be that families are able to sit down at a table and enjoy one another’s company, we need to cherish this infrequent setting, even if that means taking a half hour break from your iPhone.  Whether you are hosting a dinner at your house or are attending Thanksgiving dinner elsewhere, it is essential to know and imply proper table etiquette. Before you sit down for dinner and proclaim everything that you’re thankful for, we have a couple “do’s” and “don’ts” to keep in mind.


  1. Place your napkin on your lap, and use it for dabbing your mouth or fingers.
  2. Between bites, rest the knife and fork on either side of the plate. Then when finished, place them nicely in the center of the plate.
  3. It is okay to leave food on the plate, don’t feel like you have to gain your freshman fifteen all over again.


  1. Do not start to eat before host/hostess signals you to do so.
  2. Ask those around you to pass food politely, do not reach over, and keep your chewing to yourself.
  3. Put your phone on vibrate and excuse yourself if you absolutely have to take a call, otherwise make conversations and eliminate the texting and browsing.

Do’s & Dont’s Courtesy of Examiner