Thanks to everyone who spent some time on our blog today, the day after the official coming-out party of our blog.  We had a lot of visitors today, and it is nice to know that someone out there is taking part in this "conversation" with me. 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner so I wanted to offer up some of my thoughts on the holiday.  This is one of those great American holidays where everyone participates, whether as a hostess/host or as a guest at someone's home.  As with any holiday, Thanksgiving can be a stressful time as well.  Some of these tips fall on the side of "etiquette" and other fall on the side of "stress relief".  Here are just a few of the obvious etiquette items that most of you probably already practice:

  • RSVP: This is very important, since the hostess/host needs to know how much food to prepare.  Once you have confirmed your intentions to attend, outside of an emergency or unexpected illness, you should make every effort to honor your commitment. 
  • Arrive on time:  This one is pretty important since meal preparation is such a time consuming effort, and it can easily be ruined when guests show up late.  So be courteous and give yourself enough time to get through the holiday traffic.
  • Bring a little something for the hostess/host.  This can be anything from a bottle of wine to your famous cranberry dish (make sure you inform the hostess that you will be bringing a food item to share).  A small present is also an acceptible offering as well.
  • Avoid making a big deal about your special dietary needs.  Medical needs aside, don't burden the hostess with preparing special dishes and unless it is absolutely against your personal beliefs try and partake in some of the food that has been served to you.
  • Assist with clean up.  Many hands make light work, and once the work is done everyone can sit and enjoy a good conversation, watch one of the games on TV, or sneak away for a quick snooze.

Now the big question, "Who cuts the turkey?".  This area is fraught with possible pitfalls.  Personally, I believe the hostess/host gets the first dibs at cutting up the beautiful turkey that she/he has prepared.  In many cases the hostess/host can assign this duty to his or her spouse, or possibly even a grandparent.  Each family has their own traditions regarding this special task, and my belief with most things are "to each their own".   So whatever that tradition is, honor it, and recognize the importance of the tradition.

Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to see family and friends that you don't spend much time with, it is one of my favorite holidays because of that.  As I get older (not that much older) I realize how few opportunities we have to sit down with our extended family, enjoy a meal, and good conversation.  Enjoy the day and focus on your family and friends.