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November 27, 2023

Every year across the United States families gather to count their blessings and to give thanks to each other, God, the Founding Fathers, Native Americans, or whoever. Whatever floats each person’s boat. They like it, I love it. Thanksgiving is also the first occasion to showcase your winter quteness. Warm sweaters, overcoats and various shades of browns, tans, and beiges will be in full display. Regardless of if you are spending Thanksgiving with your birth family, or in-laws, or the scary “first date meeting the family”, you are going to want to dress to impress. If you are the host or the cook, you do not want to be overdressed, if you are a guest though, you do want to ensure that you stand out in a positive way.

              The first thing you are going to want to do is make your hair appointment. Today is November 20th. You do not want to be tired, stuck in the salon all day Wednesday so if you did not get your hair done two days ago on Saturday, do what you can to get in the chair tomorrow. If you wear a weave, you do not want that service this week. You should have had that done last week. Stylists are trying to maximize their money this week and most are overbooked and a service like a weave or any other extensive service is likely to have you sitting under the dryer all day. Regular press and curls, short cuts, and even wigs are perfectly suited for Thanksgiving dinner.

              Speaking of perfectly suited, the outfit must turn heads. Please do not be the one who comes in sweatpants so you can pig out and have three plates with two to go home. Dress fashionably. Yes, you are going to eat but you do not have to look as if you are trying to take down the record at the local Golden Corral. If you need people to help you get into your outfit prior to going to dinner, then that is not the correct outfit to wear. Give yourself some room. On the other hand, if you had a baby years ago, this is not the occasion to break out the maternity pants. Do not be gluttonous.

              Your hair is done, your outfit is fly, hopefully you have already received your manicure and your pedicure. As you are holding hands and saying prayer or passing the gravy, you do not want people looking at your hands wondering when you are going to get a fill. There should be no chipped nails or paint. I call those kid nails. Kid nails belong on kids. Also, please by all means, if one of your acrylic nails happens to break prior to Thursday, get it fixed professionally or do it yourself. Do not go to dinner with nine nails done and a tenth one plain and short. You are responsible for yourself, and you are representing yourself so respect yourself and make sure you are well put together.

              Keeping with the topic of representation, your spouse, significant other, baby boo, and your/yalls/their kids are also a reflection of you. You cannot just pull up and let them hop out to realize where they are. Give them the speech before you leave the house. “We going to Grama’s house. No runnin in there. You know kids are only allowed outside and in the den. Give Grama a big hug and kiss when you walk in. Say hello to Uncle Mike and shake his hand with a firm shake. Watch out for your little cousin so and so cuz I heard she’s fast and I don’t want you hanging out with her. You better not be outside with your outher cousin whoopty whop smoking them funny cigarettes." Prepare the kids so they will not embarrass you. As soon as you go to the bathroom, everyone is going to stop and talk about how you and your heathen kids walked in all uncouth and unkept. If it is cold, not t-shirts or jerseys. If it is hot, no hoodies. The boys should have a collared shirt on at least. Most important, let them know you will leave when you get ready. There is no reason for them to come and interrupt adult conversation asking when they are going home.

As for your “plus one”, let them know that you will make their plate and everything you put on the plate, they are expected to eat. This is for the kids too. Eat it and like it and complain in the car. We are not going to be disrespectful towards people who have taken their time to prepare the food. If it is potluck style, this is not the time to experiment with seasonings, flavors, or recipes. Go for what you know or get out of the kitchen. Be on paper plates, sodas, napkins, or liquor. Do not be embarrassed with a casserole you made for twenty people and only one spoonful was taken, and everyone abandoned it after the peas and carrots fell out. If at least three people in the past have not asked you for the recipe or to make it over the years, DO NOT OFFER TO MAKE IT FOR THANKSGIVING! Especially if you are the “plus one”. Staples like macaroni and cheese, dressing, stuffing, greens, sweet potato pies and more, leave to the professionals.

Lastly, show your manners and appreciation by cleaning up after. True you may be a guest and there are plenty of people there who probably live there and know where everything goes, but you can still offer to wash the dishes or take out the trash. Clear the table after dinner. Do something. Clean the bathroom. Do you know how many people probably used it that day as well as kids. Thanksgiving is the day to give thanks. You can show thanks by doing your part. Also, if you are you and spry and get there early, do not park in the driveway, or take the best space on the street. You know Aunt Barbara just had her knees replaced and Uncle Jordan has that bad hip. Follow these tips to have a Qute Thanksgiving.