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A bottle of olive oil is a nice gift alternative to wine this holiday season

A bottle of olive oil is a nice gift alternative to wine this holiday season

Social Studies

This Thanksgiving, hosts across the country will insist their guests not bring a thing to dinner – and they will mean it.

By now, most hosts have planned a specific menu and designed their tablescape around the dishes they plan to serve this holiday, taking into account the space of their buffet or table and the serving pieces they want to use.

When the person who invited you to dinner insists that you “don’t bring a thing,” it’s because she truly does not need (or want!) you to. When you show up with a side dish or dessert, it competes with the menu the host has spent time and money to create, and forces her to rearrange the table to accommodate a dish she was not expecting.

Party trick: If you just can’t stomach the idea of showing up to dinner empty-handed, bring a small gift. Wine is always standard, but a nice bottle of fine olive oil will set your token apart from the rest.

Your host will appreciate the gracious guests who simply listen and honor her wish to prepare a special meal to share with family and friends.