How to Manage your "Eclectic" Thanksgiving Dinner Guests

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Let Maria Everding, founder of the Etiquette Institute, properly instruct you on how to manage the eclectic personalities you find around the Thanksgiving dinner table.

The Photographer

Challenge: Brings her DSLR for a mid-meal Instagram shoot, despite the fact that your extra-stretchy sweatpants clearly scream “No flash photography, please.”
Etiquette Advice: “Set up a dedicated area near the table where photos are encouraged; then limit usage of the area to a specific amount of time.”

The Conspiracy Theorist

Challenge: Your paranoid Uncle Elroy cannot help but ramble about the next alien invasion (they’re out there!) or fluoride in the water supply (it’s not for your teeth!).
Etiquette Advice: “Before dinner, declare that every conspiracy theory mentioned will cost $5—money that will go to your favorite charity.”

The Yarn-Spinner

Challenge: Tells the same farfetched stories year after year that no amount of eye-rolling can stop: “One time during the war I caught a fish this big! Oh, and I cured malaria.”
Etiquette Advice: “Beat him to the punch and say, ‘Gosh, that story you told last year is so funny—let’s hear it again!’”

The Bad Potluck-er

Challenge: Always brings a dish that’s mangled within an inch of its life. Totally bummed out when hardly any of it is eaten, but naively tries again the following year.
Etiquette Advice: “Try suggesting that, instead of bringing something homemade, she bring something purchased, like a bottle of wine.”