Thanksgiving advice doesn’t stop at how to cook turkey—we tapped etiquette experts for tips on gracefully navigating stickier social situations too.

Every Thanksgiving we encounter the same pesky issues. We loathe guests who barge into the kitchen, disrupting our roasting and baking. We fear overcooked turkey and burnt yams. Plus there’s that meddling uncle who asks for leftover pumpkin pie before dinner has even begun. Alas, the biggest food holiday of the year is often the most stressful.

Thanksgiving Host 101The Ultimate Guide to ThanksgivingIn order to help you survive the big day, we reached out to several etiquette experts. In the video above we chatted with Myka Meier, founder of Beaumont Etiquette and The Plaza Hotel Finishing Program, and got the scoop on how to deal with all these holiday challenges and many more.

We also compiled some of the best Thanksgiving tips from Helena Echlin, Chowhound’s former etiquette writer. She wrote the column Table Manners for six years. Here’s her best advice on how to survive Thanksgiving, all in one place. So if you need help appeasing your vegetarian friends, dealing with your snobby cousins, or attending multiple feasts on the same day, you’ve come to the right place.  Check out all of her advice below.

How to Host a Turkey-Free Thanksgiving

If you’re a vegetarian, how do you successfully throw Thanksgiving without a turkey?

maple hasselback butternut squash recipe

Alexis deBoschnek’s Maple Hasselback Butternut Squash

(See also: Vegan Thanksgiving Dishes Everyone Will Love, and How to Accommodate Vegan Guests at Thanksgiving.)


You’ve got multiple Thanksgiving dinner invites. Is there a way to hit all the meals without offending?

Thanksgiving dinner

filadendron / E+ / Getty Images

(Also helpful: The Best Thanksgiving Host & Hostess Gifts to Bring.)

Greedy Gobbler

Are guests entitled to leftovers (which are, after all, the best part of Thanksgiving)?

thanksgiving leftovers club sandwich


What If You Ruin the Turkey?

Quick! Order pizza! (And other ways to salvage your party, including how to fix an overcooked, dry turkey and how to quickly correct an undercooked turkey.)

Thanksgiving tips from chefs

Manny Rodriguez / Getty Images

Meddling Mother-in-Law

Your mother-in-law knows exactly how the gravy should be done. Yeah, right. Here are ways to get her out of the kitchen (appetizers are one nice distraction).

Thanksgiving prep

PeopleImages / E+ / Getty Images

Thanksgiving Turkey Snob Dilemma

Is it wrong to suggest that your host buy a politically correct bird?

Thanksgiving traditions

Maren Caruso / Photodisc / Getty Images

Here’s hoping these tips serve you well come Turkey Day!

See our Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving for everything else you need to know.

Roxanne Webber is a former editor at CHOW.
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