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A Gentleman’s Guide to Thanksgiving Decorum

I like to consider myself to be an expert in decorum. Lucky for you, I am going to share some of my secrets, in order to help you socialize during tomorrow’s Thanksgiving feast.

When hosting, be sure to address each person who enters your home by their proper surname, even if it’s your mother and father.

Example: “Good afternoon Mr. Thomson. I am so happy you could attend, accompanied by the venerable Mrs. Thomson.”

Immediately have someone fetch their outer-garments, then invite them to your parlour for refreshments.

Example: “Mr. and Mrs Thomson, please join me in the parlour. Can I offer you some wine or perhaps something stronger?”

After your guests have loosened up, serve appetizers and ask that they make a small donation to your favorite charity.

Example: “Mr. Thomson, please have a meatball, they’re delectable. They’re made from kobe. Also, let me offer you an opportunity to be charitable. Are you aware that children in Africa do not celebrate Thanksgiving?” (then proceed with sales pitch)

After you’ve achieved your philanthropic goals, ask everyone to sit and prepare for dinner.

Example: “Gentlemen and ladies in attendance, please join me in the dining area, where we will be serving a freshly slaughtered, organic, free range, stuffed bird, cranned berried sauce and other fine delicacies.”

Once seated and served, ask that everyone join hands to say grace. You will perform this function, and do so with the professional acumen that comes natural to you.

Example: “Dear Turkey Gods, thank you for all of this food on this table. I particularly would like to thank you for inventing cranned berried sauce and stuffing. I will be sure to douse your body with gravy and devour you whole. A-fucking-men.” (apologize to the children immediately)

While at the table, small talk is important. Try to address your guests with respect, but let them know who’s boss. It’s also important to frame your sentences in a way that demands a response, in order to keep the party vibrant.

Example: “Mrs. Thomson, would you be kind enough to pass me the gravy, okay, pal? Mr. Thomson, do you see those biscuits over there? Would you be a champ and get them for me? I greatly appreciate your assistance, thanks skip.”

After dinner, dismiss the women from the table, so that they might clean up. Ask for refreshments too.

Example: “Okay ladies, please allow the men to mingle in bitter solitude for a few moments. Dear (referring to wife), go get us some Port and a box of cigars. Mrs. Thomson, make yourself at home. There are plenty of aprons under the sink, if you need one.”

After you’ve had a nice cigar and some dessert wine, re-invite the ladies to join the men in the drawing room to discuss politics and religion.

Example: “Ladies, if you’re done cleaning up, please join us in the drawing room for casual discussion. Mrs. Thomson, how do you feel about Islam?”

Now it’s time to wind down operations. But it’s important to do so without looking rude. You do not want your guests to feel as if you’re kicking them out.

Make believe your pocket-watch isn’t working, tapping on it, complaining “this darn thing stopped working again. Can anyone be so kind as to tell me what time is it?” After hearing the time, address a guest in a specific manner to make her feel as if she’s intruding, but do so without her knowing it is intentional.

Example: “Mrs. Thomson, do you have many things to do tomorrow morning? My wife has been complaining to me all week about getting an early start on this Black Friday thing. Do you intend to wake up with the roosters and join the frenzy?”

When saying goodbye to your guests, be sure to offer parting compliments, prior to waving your hand as they drive away.

Example: “Thank you so much for dining with us tonight Mr. Thomson. Your wife. Ms. (emphasis on Ms.) Thomson looked especially elegant this evening with her costume. Is this Hermes, Ms. Thomson? (As they drive away, while waving and smiling profusely, yell out “Ciao.”

Happy Thanksgiving.

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