Get a signed copy of our latest book, Emily Post's Etiquette - The Centennial Edition, for yourself or to give as a gift, and support Vermont's independent bookstore Bridgeside Books.

Join our Substack newsletter for more from Emily Post.

Show Your Thanksgiving Spirit Hero Label

Show Your Thanksgiving Spirit

photo: close up of fall leaves on the ground with light shining through the trees illunimating them

Let's Celebrate

The fellowship feeling of Thanksgiving is unrivaled among holidays. It's hard to think of a more warm or festive occasion. It's a wonderful time to extend a last-minute invitation to someone who may be alone or without plans for the holiday. It's a good time, too, to contribute canned goods, money, or time to volunteer organizations that feed the homeless, elderly, and infirm.

Here are a few suggestions to help you keep in touch with family and friends, even if you aren't all together:

  • E-mail: Send an e-mail to family members who can’t join you for Thanksgiving – it might become a “round robin.”
  • Letter: Have your guests add a line or two to a “group letter” and send it to absent family members.
  • Phone call: Set up a conference call and reach many family members at once.
  • Journal: Have a book where guests can write their Thanksgiving thoughts. Bring it out every Thanksgiving so guests can read and add to it.
  • Reach out: If all of your family can’t make it to the big celebration, send flowers or candles for their table as a way of expressing togetherness.
  • Let everyone participate. Thanksgiving is a big meal, involving lots of preparation. Many guests want to bring or prepare a dish. It’s a great way to let them be a part of the celebration. Children can help, too, by making decorations and place cards, setting the table, and lighting the candles.
  • Give thanks: Even if you are not saying a traditional grace, it’s nice to let everyone around your table express their thanks.
  • Remember: Remember our service men and women who are far from their families and loved ones.

As we pause to count our blessings, all of us at the Emily Post Institute wish you a heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving!