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If you have a question for Ms. Magnolia, please mail it to P.O. Box 669, Vidalia, GA 30475, or e-mail to [email protected]

Ms. Magnolia

Manners for the

Thanksgiving Meal

Knowing the proper mealtime etiquette makes everyone more comfortable and the holiday more enjoyable, even with family and people you know well. Refresh the memories of children and young adults by giving them a few lessons in the weeks leading up to the get-together. Correcting them at the table is too little too late and will only disturb the other guests.

Here are some Thanksgiving manners for dinner guests: RSVP. Let your host know right away whether you can come. Offer to bring something – food or flowers. Don’t show up with uninvited guests.

Arrive on time. Before ringing the doorbell, turn your cell phone off and put it away. Greet everyone in a friendly manner.

Wait for the eldest adults and the hosts to take their seats at the table first. After being seated, simply unfold your napkin discreetly under the table and place it in your lap. Sit up straight, and don’t put your elbows on the table.

Wait to eat until everyone at the table has been served their meal, and until the hosts have taken their first bite. Pass food to the right, and always pass the salt and pepper together.

Avoid discussing controversial or painful family subjects or your health.

Observe the speed at which others are eating so that you can finish at about the same time. Everyone should remain sitting at the table until the hosts rise. Offer to help with the clean-up.

Don’t overstay your welcome. Pay attention to cues about when it’s time to leave. Be sure to thank your host for the meal. Later, a phone call or a handwritten note of thanks to your hosts shows your appreciation for all their hard work. Get a good etiquette book or check the internet for more information.

Letters have been edited for length and clarity.

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