Tips and Tricks for a Festive Thanksgiving

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

It's that time of the year!!!! You know the one of yield tied merriment holiday cheer, where we pull out all the stops and gather around good spirits with good food; laugh a little more, love a little more, and give thanks for all the wonderful things in our lives.

Undoubtedly this is also the time of the year where many of you will pack my inbox with your holiday etiquette, floral, and table setting, woes!

Never fear … Mr. Queer is here! … with some simple helpful tips to keep this season a delight!

What to bring what to give?

Out with miss Poly Anna, in with personal gifts, this years trend is all about inexpensive and thoughtful gift giving from the heart. hand written notes to mom and dad, home baked goods and classic delights fill this seasons baskets. After all this is the time to show others how much we are thinking of them how much we love and care for them. So even if your candle making skills or cookie doe is not the best it followed with a card you have written yourself will leave a lasting impression for the season.

How to lay that table?

In the most formal of homes dinner is served on a wooden table that is brightly polished. Polishing your table with table wax before and after the meal will protect it from spills.

-"Chargers" (ornamental plates often made in silver or ceramic and removed before the second course) are placed directly in front of the chair with forks to the left and knives to the right followed by spoons on the outer most right.

Cutlery (knives forks spoons) number the courses to be served with all but the desert bits laid out before the meal.

Stemware (glasses) is laid according to course just above the knives and spoons on the right side of the charger. A champagne flut, red wine goblet, white wine goblet, and water glass follow in that order from inside out with a port glass brought out with the dessert course.

Napkins (which should be made of linen and not paper) are folded neatly atop the charger or folded wth the opening facing the charger and placed under the spoon and knife to the right of the charger.

Placemats can be used instead of chargers but never with them. Table cloths are less formal options for dinning (traditionally used to hide an assortment of sins during banquets when many tables were pushed together, or for lunch on when polishing the table a third time seemed redundant). Table cloths require no chargers and never should be used in combination with placemats! (traditionally placemats are reserved for breakfast and in homes without chargers dinner, they are made of linen or lace).

Florals often used as centerpieces should be low to the table, no more then 7 inches tall. They may otherwise be set atop stands that are higher then 18 inches to make room for conversation and not disturb the line of sight of ones guests. Get creative and use fruit vegetables foliage and twigs to brings he season in to your table!

Candles should be new and made of bees wax to reduce dripping. cutting the wick before use and lighting it briefly to be sure they don't start a fire. Have fun choosing a bold color and or mix and matching heights!

Silver used on the table (candlesticks chargers cutlery) should be polished to high shine and then washed before the table is laid.

Rules of engagement at the table:

No cell phones!!! Absolutely none! Spend time with one another not with your machines!

Many pieces of cutlery may present themselves before you at the table… start from the outside with the furthest fork on your left and furthest spoon on the right and work your way in. If at all in doubt look to your host!

Do not being eating your meal until all are seated and all ladies served.

Don't forget to say thank you with a personalized note the very next day!

Most importantly relax! and have a blast! This is a time to enjoy your family and friends while celebrating life!

Until next time, gobble gobble!

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