Thanksgiving Meal Etiquette Rules You Might Not Know

A lot of us will be sitting down to a Thanksgiving feast on Thursday, and for most people few real rules apply except for maybe chewing completely before shoveling in another bite, and wait until you’ve left the table to unbutton the top button on your jeans.

But, believe it or not, there are some etiquette rules for the Thanksgiving table that most people are probably totally unaware of, and may leave you a bit embarrassed at how you’ve been acting at the table all these years.

Thanksgiving etiquette rules include:

  • Always pass the salt and pepper shakers together - According to What's Cooking America, the salt and pepper shakers should always remain together, even if someone just requests the salt. 
  • Don’t begin eating until the host or hostess unfolds and places their napkin on their lap – That marks the official beginning of a meal, so you shouldn’t start digging in until then. Also, the meal isn’t officially over until the host or hostess puts their napkin back on the table. 
  • Cut one piece of food at a time – If you’re one of those people who cut up all your meat before digging in you’re doing it wrong. The Emily Post Institute says it’s only appropriate to cut one piece at a time before eating it. 
  • Don’t switch place cards – The host or hostess has assigned you a seat for a reason, so no matter how much you don’t want to sit next to Aunt Joan, it isn’t appropriate to switch your seat. 
  • Respect that the host trusts you in their home – Although it’s tempting to snoop a bit when you’re in someone else’s home, it is pretty disrespectful to your host. And should you break something by accident, own up to it, don’t hide it. 

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