It's that time of the year again...The Family Dinner From Hell.
This is the time when family grudges are aired in anticipation of forgiveness and peace by the time the Christmas holidays come around.
Here are a few tips for hostesses, family members and guests to make the holiday a pleasant one for all involved:
Dress appropriately, watch your language, arrive on time and keep your elbows off the table!
Try a little of everything and praise everything that is laid on your plate even if its burned or raw. Thank your lucky stars you are having a warm meal that someone else cooked for you!
Don't get mesmerized by the football game. Socialize, talk to others outside your group or family and help your hostess by offering to fix drinks or pass the appetizers. She will be most grateful.
Talk to the old people. They appreciate every nice gesture we throw their way.
Turn your damn i-phone off and, by all means, don't even consider bringing it to the table! Texting is NOT an alternative. Make this sacrifice for world peace...
Stay out of the kitchen. Your hostess is hassled enough without you going in and bombarding her with stories of your last trip to Paris with your new boyfriend.
Don't surprise your hostess with unexpected "guests of guests". Call beforehand, make sure it's okay and bring something edible like an extra pie or casserole AND a couple of bottles of wine.
Avoid confrontations, unpleasant surprises and sarcastic comments. That's all..
Wait!... and serve your little ones before you and everyone else sits down at the table.
Don't try to cook everything at the last minute. Be calm, cool and collected by the time your first guest arrives.
Your turkey should be out of the oven at least 1/2 hour before guests arrive and kept warm by tenting it. Everything should be done by the time the doorbell rings... that includes the gravy. 1/2 hour before serving, stick your casseroles and dressing or stuffing in the oven for warming.
Spend time with your guests and family, that's what this holiday is all about.
Keep the booze light. Alcohol has a way of un-inhibiting the inhibited and accentuating delusions...
Don't delay the meal waiting for "halftime". Serve when you are ready!
At this point it's up to the gods of civility. What will happen is going to happen... you have done your bit. Don't sweat the small stuff and have a good time!
Have A Happy Stress-Free Thanksgiving!
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