Holiday Dinner Hopping

Thanksgiving is all about great food and family. But what happens when you have too many meals to attend? Follow Modern Manners Guy’s 3 tips for proper Thanksgiving dinner hopping.

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #225

In just a few short days, Thanksgiving will arrive and I will be doing my American duty to stuff my face with as much turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie as possible. Granted Nutrition Diva and Get-Fit Guy will probably put me on their naughty list come the gift-giving holidays, but what can I say, I love a good holiday dinner.

See also: Healthy Thanksgiving Eating Tips

But however wonderful Thanksgiving (or any other holiday celebration) is, many people stress over how they are going to spend their time at dinner that night. With marriages, divorces, or even just undefined relationships, many people find themselves split on who to dine with on the holidays. They are often so torn, that they can’t choose just one venue and wind up hopping between several houses, consuming multiple dinners in a single evening.

For me, having to decide which family I go to for Thanksgiving is as much of a yearly tradition as watching football. Every year, my wife and I hop around to various family dinners, lunches, and get-togethers to make sure we don’t miss anyone. It’s enough to make you hope that each house is stocked with plenty of adult beverages when you arrive.

So before you head out with an empty belly, ready to fill it until your belt bursts, check out my top 3 Quick and Dirty Tips for proper Thanksgiving dinner hopping.

Tip #1:  Map Out the Day

How many times have we all planned for a particular day of visiting more than one person, and wound up being late or missing someone’s house altogether? I’ll raise my hand and admit to being guilty of this. It’s not easy to make sure you hit all five houses you promised to go to.

Having to juggle when you need to leave in time to arrive at the next destination is about as daunting as trying to figure out if you can stuff down that third piece of pumpkin pie. But, like that yummy dessert, you make it work. How? Map out your day like a military general trying to ensure he hits every target on time. Too extreme? Well, I guess you never met my family.

It’s like planning a party; you know when you have arrive, what you have to bring, and who you need to see.  Make sure you consider travel time and traffic conditions to and from each house, even if it’s just two houses (one for dinner, one for dessert). Call ahead of time and check exactly when they are planning to sit down for dinner that day, and then plot out your schedule to maximize your time in each location.

I recommend actually printing out a map with all the locations you plan to visit and mapping out how exactly you will make it to each. You’d be surprised to find that it’s not as easy as you think. Start with the place you have to go to as your committed dinner plans and work your way around that. Some visits may have to be cut shorter – which is fine. I don’t think people will expect you to camp out for hours.

By the way, this doesn’t mean you have to eat at each house, either. I mean, as much as I love to pig out, you can only stuff yourself so many times before you’re sick.

See also: Why We Overeat