The table is set, you’ve planned the perfect holiday meal including a succulent roast and all the fixin’s to go with it but what about avoiding the drama that comes with holiday gatherings? 

We’ve compiled a list of simple etiquette tips to keep everyone in your family off the naughty list! 

DO: ask guests to bring a specific dish, appetizer or dessert. This allows them to prepare that special Jello-O mold or Heavenly Hash without the worry of duplicate dishes. DON’T: argue if they choose to bring any extras. Seriously, it’s not worth going to the mat over whether or not Aunt Edna’s squash casserole is better than your mother’s recipe. 

DO: bring up special something you can all be thankful for some recent “wins” in your lives over the year. DON’T: discuss religion, annoying pet peeves and especially POLITICS. There is a seat for everyone at the table regardless of who they voted for the last election. 

DO: enjoy a nice glass of wine or champagne (if you are over 21, of course) and plan to have wine or libations for guests. DON’T: over imbibe on the sauce (see the above “DON’T”). 

DO: Keep your toasts, thoughts and prayers on the positive side. DON’T: spend too much on a toast as the food sits before your guests smelling wonderful and turning cold. 

DO: if you are a guest at someone else’s home ask if you can bring a PLUS-1 or any other guests that your hosts may not be aware of such as out-of-town guests. DON’T: bring any pets with you without the expressed permission of your host. Besides, a houseful of people could really bring out the stress in your otherwise docile pooch. 

DO: Ask your guests if they have any food allergies or intolerances. These days many people have gone gluten-free or Paleo or low-carbing it and they will be happy to offer to bring a dish that they can enjoy. If you are feeling so inclined you could certainly try your hand at a gluten-free casserole. DON’T: make your guests feel bad about their diet or dietary restrictions. In many cases, they would rather woof down those buttered mashed potatoes. 

DO: set an end time or be a good host about those lingering guests. DON’T: snatch plates or drinks out of the hands of guests. Instead, start cleaning up certain entertainment areas. Start with the bar…that should move things along. 

Lastly, don’t stress the small stuff and do your best to enjoy yourself as a host or a guest. Happy Holidays!