Sunday, November 22, 2009


The big day is almost upon us...time for everyone to spend some time with the family! The old saying, "You can choose your friends, but not your family" is so very true. All families have drama and tensions can run very high when everyone is crowded into one home for the holiday.

If you are the Host, how do you handle sticky situations?

How do you handle a guest who drinks too much at a Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner?
For some people, spending time with relatives can be a very stressful situation. Alcohol sometimes helps to "take the edge off" at a social event, but when a guest has had too much to drink and is not "holding their Jack Daniels or Chardonnay well"'s time for a social intervention! The host should delegate someone who is close to the tipsy guest to speak with them--letting them know they need to slow down on the booze! All the food at a Thanksgiving Dinner should help the situation, but of course, never let a guest who has had too much to drink drive a car! Call a cab or let them sleep over!

What happens when the tipsy person is the host/hostess?
Good heavens...this is an extremely sticky situation. The hostess has been busy as a bee in the kitchen long before the sun came up and started sippin' Chardonnay an hour before her guests arrived. Now it's two hours into the party, and she's "three sheets to the wind"...slurring her words...and still sippin' Chardonnay--while all the guests are ready to eat! Even though guests must always defer to the hostess, you might say something like "All the food looks soooo good, may I help you with something?"

What if someone brings an embarrassing "significant other" to the party?
So, the family is all gathering at mama and daddy's house for Thanksgiving Dinner. The "perfect son" is home from college and informs his parents he wants to invite his new girlfriend to the event. On the big day, all the gentlemen are dressed in preppy Ralph Lauren attire and sippin' Jack Daniels. The ladies are decked out in the latest Lilly Pulitzer fall shifts, JCrew cardigans, pearls, and Revas & tights. In walks "perfect son" with his new girlfriend. Lord have mercy!...she definitely has a smokin' hot body and is showing it off with a way-too-low-cut, club-hoppin' outfit. What to do? Etiquette dictates that she should be treated with the same respect as the most darling Southern Belle in the room!

How to handle picky eaters?
The savvy hostess will take into consideration any dietary preferences of her guests. However, when circumstances prevent the hostess from knowing the food preferences/food allergies of each guest, it is perfectly proper for guests to say "No thank you" to a dish offered, which they might not like. Of course, it would be very tacky to say "I hate sweet potato casserole!"

What to do if guests start talking about politics?
It's up to the host/hostess to initiate conversation at the dinner table. However, even in tight-knit Southern families, politics is a hot topic today! So, if the subject comes up, the host/hostess might say something like, "For today, let's all forget about politics and the economy and try to focus on all the things we have to be grateful for in this country."

If you are the Guest, here's some tips that will hopefully help you to get invited back!

~Never show up with pets {Ooops, Miss Janice is traveling soon with Mlle. Coco Chanel; however, my hosts have insisted that I bring my baby!}

~Never show up ill--if you've got the flu, STAY HOME! Please.

~Offer to help out around the house. You should not have to be told to clean up behind yourself; if you don't do it, you probably won't be invited back!

~Don't abuse the hospitality of the host. The host is not your Event Planner. Entertain yourself, and better still, offer to take the host out for dinner.

~You should always arrive with a gift, say thank you during your visit, and a send a thank-you note after the visit.

Thank you so much for visiting with me today.


Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Hi Miss Janice! You always have the best advice for sticky situations! I am family is small, but close! I hope that you will have a wonderful holiday!!...hugs...Debbie
PS...I still LOVE reading your tweets from Panera Bread...the best in Twitterland!! lol

Unknown said...

What about a disagreement at the dinner table?

Jill said...

Great post! Thanks for the tips and advice.

Teresa Jane said...

Miss Priss,
What do I do when my computer crashes during thanksgiving week?
Lord help me girlfriend.

Her Preppiness said...

Great tips

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the pointers!!! I will surely remember this.

Kara said...

I love the "behave y'all"!! Love the tips and I try to always remember the hostess gift.

lindaraxa said...

Just the kind of blog I was looking to link to! Will link to this post in Wednesday's post.

Have a nice and civilized Thanksgiving!

What Kate Wore said...

Another classic Miss Janice, chockfull of tips and little helpers many of us may need to make useof this week! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with all of us, and may your travels go smoothly!

We send hopes the holiday is filled with love and joy for all involved,

Anonymous said...

Check out our Wine Bottle Decals, Miss Janice! If you take your hostess a bottle of bubbly or a nice wine and put a decal on it, "Happy Holidays from Miss Janice!" They'll think you are sooo cute!!

Just an idea for you - it's what we'll be doing!

Holiday (((Hugs)))),

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Miss Janice, those are all very good tips! We had our big family dinner Saturday and everyone behaved very nicely (except one couple who decided they'd rather go clothes shopping than be on time)!


Unknown said...

I actually "stole" one of your excerpts for use in my blog post "Rudeness Be Gone on Thanksgiving".

I gave you necessary credit and referenced back to your website.

p.s. I follow you on Twitter @DontBeSoRude

Chick in the Czech said...

Great post!!! Sometimes when family is around some forget their manners.

Miss Janice said...

Semi-Slacker Mom...again, the Host/Hostess should try to settle the disagreement or change the subject!

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

I promise to be on my best Miss Janice behavior throughout the holidays! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Unknown said...

Feel so much better and enjoy Thanksgiving as best you can!

tubbs said...

Dear Miss Janice,
Do people down here in the South still use those celery and olive dishes 'round the holidays? I just saw a copy of the famous Norman Rockwell painting of the Thanksgiving table - and saw them there. Talk about a FlashBack!

Have a wonderful Feast.

Miss Janice said...

Tubbs, In prissy Southern homes, yes sir! We still use the olive and celery plates.

Miss Janice said...

Mrs. Lynch, I'm having trouble commented on your blog! Like yourself, I love peeking into the lives of bloggers and I hate "hate" as well. Loved your post and know you have me super craving Pumpkin Spice Egg Nog!