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Thanksgiving Tip: Deal With Unexpected Guests — Part 2

It always happens, you plan for a perfect Thanksgiving with just the right number of folks and then pow! Someone's brought an extra guest. If this happens to you, take a deep breath and don't panic. Yesterday we gave you a few tips on how to deal with unexpected guests, and today we have a few more.

  • If you're cooking portioned meals for Thanksgiving — such as individual game hens — split the portion between the unexpected guest and the person who brought them. If this is not possible, sacrifice by splitting your own in half. When serving just simply state that you're sorry, but you thought you were cooking for a different number of people.
  • If you only have the exact number of dishes needed, you may want to consider picking up a few festive Thanksgiving themed plates. They'll also work as plates to pack leftovers on; just wrap them tightly in foil.
  • Remember, you're the host, so stay polite. However, if you honestly believe you can't handle the unexpected guests — let's say someone drops by with four other guests and you were only expecting six total — it's completely fair to send them away. They may not like it, and you may be called rude — along with other names — but it is your dinner party. Alternatively, let them have appetizers and a drink and invite them back for dessert later.
  • Don't forget it's a holiday, so just have fun! If you're truly upset by it, privately explain your frustration to the offender on a later date.

Do you have any tips on how to handle unexpected Thanksgiving guests? Tell us what you would do in the comments!


Join The Conversation
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
mama im coming over!
mamaseacat mamaseacat 9 years
This is never a problem at my parents' house. My mom cooks for 100 people all the time!
fragiletearz fragiletearz 9 years
Thanks for all the advice. It's nice to have a back up.
steen steen 9 years
I actually had this happen at my wedding. Thankfully, it was only one other person and a few people hadn't shown up but I was more upset at the fact that she just showed up without even calling me or the groom! I would try to be tactful and come up with ways to accommodate the extra guests (if they didn't bring a bunch of people, anyway) and make them feel welcome but I would either not invite that person over again, depending on what kind of relationship I have with them, or speak to them after the dinner was over.
kitson1 kitson1 9 years
Just think, more people, more conversation! Don't fall into the trap of everyone shutting down because they don't feel comfortable in front of the new guest...make the guest feel at home. My husband's family did this when we were first dating and now i'd rather go there than my own family's!
michichan michichan 9 years
Best rule I know; don't fret. It's not that bad.
MsMO MsMO 9 years
Whoa who does that? First be very clear on your invitations that this is invitation only, or it's a gathering of your closest friends/family and you will be making them a special dinner. I like though that you added "Don't forget it's a holiday..." Holidays are about being together so if somebody does show up with four other people (being a military family this happens a lot :) ) cut everybody's portion in half and viola now it looks like there are seconds and you know nobody will turn down dessert, they have room! :)
haute77 haute77 9 years
i don't know who would do such a thing, but it does happen!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Honestly I would pull whomever brought them aside and depending on the situation have them break the news to their entourage. If there is not enough food, I'd gladly give them appetizers and have them take it to another room. The worst is getting extra guests who are winos (excessive wine drinkers) and they chug what is meant for your INVITED guests.
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