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Nov 28, 2009 09:54 AM

Thanksgiving etiquette question

We had a large Thanksgiving party this year, and one of the guests brought two pies and took them home with her after the evening was over. I am curious if this is proper etiquette. Thanks for your help!!

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  1. This will probably get moved to the Not About Food board.

    Did anyone eat the pie or were they untouched?

    1. Hi, Burtuka.

      I can only speak for myself, but . . . I would certainly have left the pies, unless my Host/Hostess told me to please take them with me. Of course (LOL!), having my Host/Hostess tell me to please take my pies with me would let me know, in no uncertain terms, that my pies were not up to their standards. :-)

      Do you think that might have happened?

      1. I probably would have left the pies unless there was so much dessert that the host felt the pies wouldn't be touched and asked me to take them home. I would not have been offended in that case.

        1. If I bring something to your meal, I do not leave with it. If the host/ess was dividing up leftovers & pressed it on me, I would, but that is the ONLY way. I certainly would not claim my contribution's leftovers as due to me.
          To me it is not a strictly proper, but not a big deal either.

          1 Reply
          1. re: elfcook

            I agree with that last sentence. One thing to note is that sometimes economic conditions are in play ... especially the way things are now. Someone who may look like they are financially secure, could be secretly struggling with paying the bills, even on the edge of foreclosure and losing it all. Sometimes that food means a lot to someone ... even people that would surprise you.

          2. Strange, but maybe they just wanted to be sure they got their pie tins back?

            My own etiquette quandary - My wife's niece whom I have specifically asked if she is coming to thanksgiving three times and who told me she'd check with her husband and get back to me finally calls at 9:15 T-day morning to ask what time dinner is. This takes my table from 6 to 11 (her, hubby and 2 teens and am 8 yo). 6 hours before dinner at 3. I quietly push dinner to 4 since this woman has never been on time in her life. She and the gang finally show up at 5:45 after going somewhere else for a meal.

            After dinner her husband wants us all to try out some smoothie concoction he wants to market and starts hinting at start up money. He's converting to Islam and doesn't think the family should be involved in holiday celebrations but seemed to be able to put this aside so he could pitch a business opportunity to the family.

            My question is should I even bother inviting them to Christmas dinner or should I just suggest they show up when/if ever they want to after dinner? This has been an ongoing problem but christmas is the once a year all-family get together I can't actually exclude anybody from but I'm done with this sort of behavior.

            13 Replies
            1. re: Scrapironchef

              Aw, come on scrapironchef. You've been on Chowhound long enough to know not to hijack someone else's topic.

              My two cents, never the less, tell them out of respect for their conversion to the Islamic faith, you will honor their wishes not to be involved in holiday celebrations and will npt expect them at Christmas dinner.

              Since you know these people are late, why did you push back your plans. At 9:15 I would have told them dinner was at noon.

              1. re: rworange

                Telling them noon would have made no difference, I'd already told her mom (also coming) 3. The niece is completely irresponsible but nobody wants to leave her three daughters out of family gatherings.

                1. re: Scrapironchef

                  Leave it up to them and forget about it. Sorry about the daughters, but if the dad and mom are assholes, that is not your problem.

                  Give them some rope to hang themselves. Notify them that you are respencting their new found faith. If the want to show up, give them a time. However, if the are not there when dinner starts ... go on without then ... not one single second of waiting. Maybe it will clue the next generations to be polite and show up on time. If they are late feed them leftovers. If you do otherwise, you are enabling their horrible behaviour and the whole situatation becomes YOUR problem.

                2. re: rworange

                  And just so as this isn't a threadjack, she brought 3 bottles of sparkling cider, poured one for her kids and took the other 2 home, Never asked and I didn't notice until I cleaned out the cooler I had placed them in.

                3. re: Scrapironchef

                  Salaam alaikum. How was the smoothie and what was it made of?

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Carrot, rice milk, sweetened condensed milk and eggnog type spices. Nothing I'd pay $4 a pint bottle for.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Wa'alaikum salaam. Sam. since it's Eid, that's a good question, as it's also a feast of Thanksgiving. Smoothies aren't traditional for either culture, but food cultures are adaptable.

                    2. re: Scrapironchef

                      Whether you invite them by phone, email, snailmail, give them a date by which to respond to you. Tell them in the original invitation that you need their answer by whatever deadline works for you. Explain to them that it does not work to plan a significant dinner without knowing in advance how many guests there will be and that their late responses have been problematic. Tell them you do hope they can join you this time, but if you do not hear from them by the date you have specified, you'll understand that they will not be attending, and you'll look forward to getting together with them some other time.

                      Then stick to it.

                      By no means push back dinner just for them. You're not doing yourself, any other family members or guests, or your niece and her husband any favors by enabling their rude behavior. At some point her husband will be pushing business opportunities to non-family-members, and courtesy will count.

                      Family matter cans be dicey, scrapiron, but have you ever noticed that people tend to push around those who let themselves be pushed around, but don't push around those who don't let themselves be pushed around? All of this can be explained to them in a firm, yet loving and courteous manner. If you are done with this sort of behavior, then it's up to you to let them know that. Direct communication solves a lot of problems. Good luck.

                      1. re: Normandie

                        Could not agree more with Normandie. At some point, the pushee needs to stop the pusher. Simply say "Dinner is at 3pm - we need to know by Monday if you're attending - if we don't hear from you, we understand that you will not be attending." You know this woman is chronically late; don't put out the other guests at your dinner just for her.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          Actually, wifey and I have decided to not even invite them for Christmas. We're going to tell them they're welcome to stop by after dinner to visit, but I don't plan on feeding them.

                          If it were up to me alone I would have cut them off year ago, but this is a big deal for my FIL. He wants the whole family together and the three girls are the only great-grandkids.

                          1. re: Scrapironchef

                            Good idea on the not inviting for Christmas. As for the FIL wanting his family there - then perhaps he should say something to his daughter/granddaughter to be more respectful to you and your wife as the hosts of the dinner (and the rest of the guests!). When it gets down to brass tacks, that's what it is - a complete lack of respect on your niece's part.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Anybody that thinks I'm being harsh is going to be invited to be responsible for getting them there on time and can wait outside for them.

                              1. re: Scrapironchef

                                FWIW, I think you're doing the right thing. I agree with Linda; if this issue is so important to FIL, he can explain to "the perps" ;-) that an essential element to "family togetherness" is mutual courtesy.

                                I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised and find out that not inviting them *once* will be all it takes to teach them some manners and appreciation for the fact that they are so lucky to have family with whom to spend holidays. But that's up to them. Regardless, I hope you'll have a more pleasant holiday this time, having headed off the irritant, and I'm willing to bet you will.