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Close up of black woman carving roast turkey during Thanksgiving dinner at dining table.

Source: Drazen Zigic / Getty

Ah, Thanksgiving—a time for fellowship, laughter, and an overindulgence in Granny’s mac n’ cheese and yams. As we head into another annual dinner, beware, there are pitfalls lurking amidst that cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Wanna avoid the inevitable side eye from Auntie this year? Tired of saying, “I’m not coming next year” and still go? Here’s a guide for the whole family on 10 Things You Should Never Do At (Black) Thanksgiving Dinner.

1. Arrive Empty-Handed

Close up of black woman serving Thanksgiving pie during family meal. Source:Getty

Thanksgiving is a communal effort, so don’t be that guest who shows up with nothing but an empty stomach. Bring a dish, a dessert, drinks, or at the very least, some napkins!

2. Overstay Your Welcome

Black man falling asleep on couch at home with smartphone on chest Source:Getty

While spending time with family is great, lingering for hours after the last slice of pie has been served can turn a warm gathering into an awkward marathon. Know when it’s time to head out, graciously.

3. Engage in Heated Debates

African American Family Arguing At Table Source:Kya Kelly

Passionate discussions are healthy, but Thanksgiving dinner is not the place to turn the table into a battleground. Save the debates for another time and focus on the things that unite rather than divide. Unless, of course, there’s elephants that need addressing…

4. Experiment with Exotic Dishes Without Warning

Young Asian man is feeling nauseous while holding white plate, isolated on a blue background Source:Getty

Introducing your family to new culinary horizons is commendable, but surprises ain’t for everybody. Stick to the status-quo.

5. Interrupt the Thanksgiving Grace or Toast

Multi-ethnic big family celebrating Christmas party together in house. Attractive diverse people having dinner and toasting a glass of wine to celebrate holiday Thanksgiving, X-mas eve on dining table Source:Getty

Whether it’s a heartfelt grace or a festive toast, interrupting these moments with inappropriate comments or “look-at-me” jokes is a major faux pas. Show some respect, lawd!

6. Bring Uninvited Guests

Friends saying goodbye after a fun afternoon Source:Getty

A last-minute addition to the guest list can throw off the entire seating arrangement and menu. Always check with the host/your family before bringing along any uninvited guests, no matter how charming they may be.

7. Put The Aux Down

Happy DJ with arm raised operating sound mixer Source:Getty

While your playlist might be a pre-game masterpiece, Thanksgiving dinner is not the time for an impromptu DJ practice. Unless asked, avoid taking control of the music. The elders won’t appreciate you mixing Luther Vandross with Sexyy Red… 

8. Engage in Tech Overload at the Table

African American boy watching something on mobile phone at dining table Source:Getty

Thanksgiving is about connecting with loved ones, not your phone or tablet. Refrain from excessive texting, social media scrolling, or taking calls at the table. Give your full attention to the people around you. It’s basic manners.

9. Leave Without Offering to Help with Cleanup

Black Girls Cleaning Up Kitchen Source:Apartment Therapy

The feast may be over, but the cleanup is just beginning. Don’t be the disappearing act that leaves the fam with a mountain of dirty dishes and tables. Offer to help clean up or, at the very least, express your gratitude for the meal and hospitality before making your exit.

10. Save the Date

Black Couple Proposal At Table Source:Getty

We LOVE love, we love you, but baby… Thanksgiving dinner is a time for turkey and stuffing, not surprise proposals— especially if the host is in the dark! Keep the focus on family and food, and save the “I do’s” for a more intimate setting.

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