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Etiquette For Thanksgiving?

4 posts in this topic


I wasn't sure which board this would be best for, so I'll try this one. My husband and I had planned a quiet Thanksgiving for just us and our boys (we don't have family nearby anyways), and have our gluten free meal planned and bought. A (newer) friend of ours was planning to do the same thing with her family, so I suggested maybe getting together for just dessert in the evening and invited them over. She then invited us to all of Thanksgiving dinner at her house instead. I offered to have them over, since I have so many food restrictions. (I should mention I am celiac, lactose intolerant, and 35 weeks pregnant with barely-controlled gestational diabetes). My friend hasn't told me yes or no yet, she just said we'd talk about it later.

My questions are regarding etiquette: Was it rude to turn her invitation down for the whole meal and to offer to have them over instead? Was it strange for me to initially only invite them over for dessert? My intentions were good: I knew we had both already planned our separate meals, and I figured doing 'just dessert' would be fun and easy without the pressure and our kids would have fun playing. (not to mention less contamination potential, and I can still make our whole meal gluten free without feeling odd about the food being a little 'different'). I would still prefer to do just dessert, but I'm not sure if it's just plain wierd. Just needed some other opinions.

Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!


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You have the perfect excuse for just doing dessert! Your 35 weeks pregnant! Even with no food should not be making dinner for all or even leaving your house , where you can rest, for more than and hour or so.

Just tell her, you are so exhausted and sick with this pregnancy that having them over for dessert is all you can handle. But you would like to make the desserts and do it at your house so you can put your feet up and enjoy the adult company while the kids play.


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No, and no.

Seriously, bail on the whole meal thing, tell her you'd love to get together in the future for dinner, but you are quickly realizing how stressful it's going to be for the next few months and a big dinner is more than you should be taking on. If she doesn't want to do desert, then plan a coffee and desert day in a couple weeks. Call it your shopping coffee break.

Two perspectives on your friend's motivation:

I love to cook and I love to feed people. I would totally invite over near strangers for dinner with only the slightest provocation.

My mom will never in her life ever agree to eat Thanksgiving dinner at someone else's house. She wants it her way, and anything else just wouldn't be Thanksgiving.

I don't know where your friend falls, but it could be either of these extremes. Blame the pregnancy, it covers a lot of excuses.


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There is no reason to feel rude for having turned down going somewhere for dinner. You already planned and bought a dinner! You can of course mention that if she brings it up again and say that you just had not only already planned on cooking, but purchased everything and didn't want to walk out on it. If she is aware of your food issues you can also mention that it is simply impossible for you to dine at someone else's house.

I agree though that maybe it's best to simply enjoy your quiet days at home separately. She'll want to bring something, you'll have to tell her no so she doesn't CC your whole meal, things could get awkward. I'd just give her a call and say that if she hasn't decided already you're hormonal (I love pregnancy excuses!) and weren't thinking and you guys should just stick with your quiet days at home.

Getting together for desserts is a splendid idea. It is something I've done with both friends and family in the past for holidays and just because. I don't find it weird at all. I like to plan fun games that involve socializing and some friendly competition, but that's just me. Things like pictionary were always great for groups of any size and included all the age groups together.


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