'Let the People be Heard' version of Black family Thanksgiving rules
Readers agree...Thanksgiving is not the time to be experimenting. Photo Credit Adobe.

We asked readers to weigh in on their own written (and unwritten) Thanksgiving rules.

Dawn Jennings

1. If your kids act up, don’t pull them to the side; beat them in front of us all so we know who in charge! And if you don’t, I will. 

2. Don’t bring that weird friend nobody likes. It’s makes the whole dinner awkward! 

3. If someone come with a different date from last year, I’m asking what happened? 

4. Don’t argue with your mate at the table and not think we won’t ask y’all all kinds of questions later. This our business too now. 

5. Don’t point at dishes and ask “Who made this?” cause you didn’t bring it. 

6. Don’t bring people you didn’t ask to invite! Cause they will be put out with an empty to-go box. 

7. Don’t make to-go plates for your “man” that didn’t want to come meet us. If he can’t come say “HELLO” he don’t deserve to eat “FAMILY” food! And don’t make no to-go plates before everybody eat. 

8. Don’t sit at the spades table if you don’t know how to play.

9. Don’t be asking where I hid the extra Red Velvet Cake or the Peach cobbler cause I’m not telling you. 

10. Don’t eat nothing if you didn’t BRING, BAKE or BUY anything! Just sit and stare. 

11. If you know you can’t cook, don’t bring it. We won’t be offended… I PROMISE! 

12. Please be attentive to personal hygiene. If we can smell you I’m sure you can smell yourself. And if not, I have no problem telling you that you smell like old sweat socks and apple cider vinegar. 

Govern thy selves accordingly

Cathy Henderson – Don’t let Auntie Liz cook. You know the mac for the cheese will be crunchy. Make sure we have vanilla ice cream or momma will be acting like somebody died because she doesn’t eat cake without ice cream. Don’t talk to the man with Auntie like you know him. He is not her man. He belongs to Ms. Lois on the other side of town. Eat something light before you get to the house. You know dinner won’t start until 4-5pm even though they said be there at 2pm. They actually say 2pm because they know our kind will show up at 4pm. And remember Tae Tae will come with 5 friends who will act like they helped buy the food but didn’t bring anything.

JD Scott Adams – Congratulations on your new path as a Vegan. Thanksgiving is NOT the day to assault our menu with your new lifestyle. P.S. We don’t want to hear about it either. Just sit at the end of the table with your Bento Box and give us free!

Jacqueline Strand – Leave your purse/money/valuables in the car because your cousin (an addict) is coming.

Jackie Holton – Don’t bring an extra guest we didn’t know about or your feelings and theirs will be hurt.

Teresa Davis – Do not let the person who is always hours late bring the macaroni and cheese!

Victor McGlothin – The eldest male carves the turkey unless his wife won’t let him.

Saundra E Harris – If you don’t bring anything in our family you don’t get to leave with anything…Don’t show up with Xtra guest without asking first…Dinner is at 4pm…arriving late means you get left with cold food and a clean kitchen…

Tamika McRae Turner – Cousins only pictures…. one with spouses and one without. Just in case someone doesn’t make it to next year.

Paula Harris – Please include the drunk uncle. He can grill anything in 10 minutes. Keeps that cup filled or has a can with the top popped. Wears plaid shorts, no matter what the temperature. Boombox plays “Disco Lady,” Member’s Only” and “The Hole In The Wall.” Something usually gets burned. Family!

Jetta Jetta – Tell your son/daughter who their father(daddy) is before Uncle Earl and Aunty Mae start drinking. 

Kahlia Ford – Thanksgiving is not the time to be experimenting with food dishes. If Big Mama been making the Mac & Cheese for the past 50 years that’s who makes it until she passes the recipe to someone else.

Carole Roni Freeman – Y’all know she can’t cook! Tell her to bring some pop!

Jodi Y. Williams

  1. My sister always says noon and it end up being 3pm.
  2. Only my mama can do the greens.
  3. Somebody is gonna be called fat..
  4. My cousin criticizes all the food because he’s a health nut/gym rat.
  5. I don’t get full at the first stop because the second stop has better food..
  6. I learn all the drinking game from the young family and all the older family at the domino or spades table..
  7. This Christmas will be played.. the original version or Silent Night by the Temptations. 

Tonja North – The one cousin who brings a different girl every year and your auntie calls him out. Baby is that the same girl from the reunion. All mouths closed. NOPE.

Linessa Frazier – You must have years of service, a proven track record and a special dispensation to be granted permission to cook the greens, macaroni and cheese, dressing and pound cake. Amateurs or new girlfriends need not apply.

LeTecia Cunningham – Ain’t no experimenting on Thanksgiving. No zucchini dressing…no grapes in the potato salad…..no tofu deviled eggs etc…………don’t invite nobody’s exes.

Carolyn Samuel – Do not let the newly ordained preacher, deacon or just saved person say grace.

Lynn Marie Davis – If you don’t know how to play Spades (or a card game) don’t sit your azz down to play. Also cards games can get your azz HURT or KILLED literally, especially if it’s liquid involved.

Nina Starnes –The one cousin that lies a lot wanting to tell all the stories; and eventually will tell your story and has inserted themselves like they were actually there…Not!