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Bill Kalmar

Quality Insider

Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts on Thanksgiving

Don’t bring a surprise guest unless it is George Clooney or Heidi Klum

Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 13:18

Thanksgiving is my favorite celebration. Unlike other holidays, there is no pretentiousness. One just arrives at the host home dressed in an everyday wardrobe and not encumbered with loads of presents.

Now, that is not to say that as a guest you can’t bring a tasty food dish or a bottle of wine for the host, or perhaps don your favorite gaudy holiday sweater, but it is a day to enjoy great company, wonderful food, and exciting football. What could be better than that?

However, in order to make it a joyous day, there are certain rules of etiquette that should be adhered to. Do remember to consider the following:
10. If you are assigned to the kids’ table, try to make small talk about Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift but not Pat Boone or Snooky Lanson.
9. Don’t bring a surprise guest unless it is George Clooney or Heidi Klum. And leave Fido at home. No one appreciates an old dog with incontinence problems at a party.
8. If Aunt Bertha brings her famous ambrosia salad, pretend you waited all year to dive into this delight even though it tastes like spackling compound.
7. Celebrating Thanksgiving at Mom’s home is always a nostalgic treat, but if your 57-year-old brother still lives there, don’t ask if he has added to his basement poster collection or if he still dresses like a Klingon.
6. Attempting to sell your stash of Twinkies to the guests is considered gauche. Better to have brought your collection of Peeps snowmen.
5. When Uncle Ed arrives a bit buzzed, don’t let him fall asleep on the bed with the coats.
4. There are only two drumsticks on a turkey, so when the platter comes around and both have been taken, do a Cousin Eddie as in Christmas Vacation and choose the neck.
3. Discussing surgical operations is not appropriate, especially details of Uncle Charlie’s bladder sling operation.
2. During the football game, don’t over-cheer for your favorite team unless it’s the Detroit Lions—they never win on Thanksgiving.
1. Commenting on the host’s choice of background music will not endear you, especially if you criticize the choice of “Dominick the Italian Donkey Christmas Song.”

Above all, have a wonderful time!


About The Author

Bill Kalmar’s picture

Bill Kalmar

William J. Kalmar has extensive business experience, including service with a Fortune 500 bank and the Michigan Quality Council, of which he served as director from 1993 through 2003. He served on the Board of Overseers of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and has been a Baldrige examiner. He was also named quality professional of the year by the ASQ Detroit chapter. Now semiretired, Kalmar does freelance writing for several publications. He is a member of the USA Today Vacation Panel, a mystery shopper for several companies, and a frequent presenter and lecturer.


Tami - yep, that is another

Tami - yep, that is another Christmas song to generate indigestion! And of course any Christmas song by Willie Nelson! Have a wonderful Holiday Season! Bill

Do's and Don'ts on Thanksgiving

Once again, it is a delight to read your column.  We will have Thanksgiving dinner with friends as our family is spread all over the world right now.  Miss those days when we were all in Michigan and were able to celebrate together.  But no matter where we are there WILL be Lion Football on TV!! 

And please.... surely "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" counts as a song you can declare off limits anytime, anywhere!

Thanksgiving blessings to you and your family