Guess Who’s coming to Thanksgiving Dinner?


Q: I am invited to my boyfriend’s family’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. This will be the first time I have met them and I’m very nervous. Any do’s and don’ts?

Dear First Time Guest,

It speaks well of you and your boyfriend that he has invited you to an important “family meal”. We all try to be on our best behavior at Thanksgiving, so the normal rules simply magnify when you are invited to someone else’s home for the holidays. Here are Mimi’s top ten do’s and don’ts:


  • Do ask the hostess (via boyfriend) if there is anything you can contribute to the meal.
  • Do bring a gift (in addition to your meal contribution).
  • Do dress conservatively – no minis, no cleavage.
  • Do be on your best behavior.
  • Do offer to help with cooking, clean up, kid watching or other chores.


  • Don’t curse or bring up controversial subjects.
  • Don’t drink alcohol if you are under 21.
  • Don’t be mean to little children present – they will tell everyone.
  • Don’t forget to thank your host and hostess when you leave and send them a follow-up thank you note.
  • Don’t share a room with your BF, if you are staying overnight.

Follow these rules for a lifetime of complements and the constant reminder from his family that you were the best girl he ever brought home!


I agree with Mimi’s top ten. Follow these to success and a repeat invitation will be sure to follow. Is there anything more gratifying than your BF’s parents thinking you are awesome and raised well? I think not. So, I’ll follow-up by giving you my top things to do and bring to wow the folks!

Even if your hostess says no, bring a food item. Make something special you cherish at the holidays to share with your new friends. It can be as simple as picking up cheese and crackers or making cookies, but it shows you made an effort. If you are traveling on a plane, you can ship something, like a fabulous cake from Elegant Cakery or a Breakfast Kringle from our friends at O&H Bakery. If you need help, Mimi’s pecan pie or Mademoiselle’s cherry pie are always a winner. Bringing an extra gift like holiday napkins, a breakfast basket for the next morning, a holiday candle or even toys and games for the kids that will be present, always makes a great statement without a lot of investment. Dress conservatively and appropriately for all planned occasions, be tidy and offer to help…with anything!

This is the time when you will be judged, so put your manners in your purse or pocket and make a great first impression!



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