Friendsgiving is like a fusion of all the best things in life: irreplaceable friends, irresistible food, and a whole lotta love. So it makes sense if you and your pals want to keep this tradition alive for as long as possible (read: forever). One way to ensure you keep getting invited to partake in all the fun year after year is by being the perfect guest. Everyone knows there are lots of guidelines to hosting (hint: prep ahead!), but “guesting” comes with its own set of rules and expectations too. Read on for how to party-go like a pro this holiday season.

friendsgiving dinner

1. RSVP. In the age of long-running group texts and email chains, it’s easy to assume your presence is implied. Don’t fall into this. Rather, explicitly let the host know you’ll be there. Not only does it indicate to the person that you’re genuinely excited to attend their get-together, but it also allows them to plan for another person when setting the table, prepping the meal, etc. Even if this is a Friendsgiving for your crew that hangs out constantly, the host deserves an official headcount.

2. Show up late. This rule must be done within reason, of course. If you’ve ever entertained, you know what it feels like to be scrambling to set the table, tidy the kitchen, oh, and straighten your hair in the final minutes before your friends show up. An extra 15 minutes is an appropriate amount of time to grant your host; any longer might seem rude. Although they probably won’t admit it, they’ll appreciate your lateness — trust us.

3. Bring your own… something. At first, it might seem like a good idea to show up with a tray of your famous brownies, but check with the host before bringing any food. They might have a menu planned, or they might just take your surprise snack as an indicator that you prefer your baking or cooking to theirs. If you get the go-ahead, grocery shop away. Or, if your culinary skills are unneeded, bring along a host gift to thank them for their hospitality. Who doesn’t love a good fall-scented candle, anyway?

4. Drink responsibly. It’s Turkey Day, not your 21st, so let’s keep it classy — and at least somewhat sober. This gathering is a celebration, and because of this, it’s totally appropriate to have a few drinks with your closest pals (spiked cider, please). However, no one wants to hold your hair back. Drink to the extent that you can still safely drive home because after all, your friend invited you over for dinner, not a sleepover.

5. Leave your phone alone. Hey, half the reason you even check your social media is to keep tabs on your friends’ lives. Now that you’re all in one place, there’s no reason not to set your phone down and socialize with those right in front of you. One of the best tricks to staying tech-free at a party is having all the guests place their phones face down in the center of the table. No one will want to be the first one to reach for theirs.

6. Compliment the food. They’re your BFF, not a five-star chef. It’s fair to assume the meal won’t be the most amazing you’ve had, but your friend worked hard, and they deserve some credit. Don’t fake niceties; instead, pick out aspects of the meal you genuinely enjoyed — Can you tell the pie crust was homemade? Were the French fried onions on the green bean casserole particularly crunchy? — and make them known!

7. Don’t overstay your welcome. No matter how close you and the host are, they’ll feel the need to entertain you until the minute you head home. If you notice other guests starting to leave, take that as a cue to say your goodbyes. They will likely have a substantial amount of cleanup ahead of them, and it’s only courtesy to let them get started as soon as possible. So no lounging on the couch until the wee hours of the morning — no matter how debilitating your food coma.

8. Show your gratitude. Friendsgiving, by nature, is about showing your friends how grateful you are for them, but that doesn’t exempt you from expressing your thanks at the end of the night — or even by a written note in the following days. Let them know how appreciative you are for the good food and great company. And the best way to show you’re thankful? Reciprocate with a party of your own! Better start planning…

Any etiquette tips we left out? Let us know @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)