How to Kick People Out After Thanksgiving Dinner (Polite)
The turkey was stuffed, the political arguments, thankfully, went their own way, the pants were unbuttoned, and the chairs dozed (well, everyone except you, if you host). Another successful Thanksgiving holiday has already been recorded! You are now ready for everyone to leave; it’s time for everyone to leave. And yet your guests – sitting on the couch or chatting endlessly at an empty table – don’t seem too ready to leave.
You deserve an end to the evening – so how can you (politely) get such comfortable people to fight?
Set the timeline in advance
It doesn’t have to be something as formal as an invitation with a set end time (although if you’re on a working group it might). When chatting with your family, send an email with a schedule for the day. Something like: “Let’s get together at 13:00, eat around three. After cleaning up, we’ll take care of movies, board games, soccer and cards. We plan to finish by 7 so the little ones can get a good night’s sleep. “
Give the guests a plate of leftover food.
One of the best hints you can give people that they will need to get rid of is the three-way process involving food leftovers. Is it a little passive-aggressive? Yes. But effective? Also yes.
First, ask who needs the leftover plate. The act of requesting acts like a subconscious warning bell: this shit turns off after 30 minutes, folks.
Second, make some noise while preparing leftover containers to show that your lair is no longer a serene space for endless idleness.
Third, hand them a plate of leftovers and hope they understand what you mean: the time has come.
(Alternatively, ask people to bring their own leftover containers and ask them to fill a container they will no doubt want to chill ASAP, and your refrigerator is too full to hold all of that.)
Stand up (and refer to the day in the past tense)
After the first pass of the dead – getting up and not sitting back down, even if you’re still chatting – try talking about the day in the past tense. “I know it was such a wonderful night! I’m so glad you were able to come. It was so much fun to see everything. ” It’s a subtle and ingenious way to show that Thanksgiving is truly a thing of the past.
Take away the alcohol (and take off your coat)
Nothing says the party is over like hiding the booze. Once properly out of sight, walk around collecting empty (or nearly empty) wine and cocktail glasses, saying, “Can I take this for you?” Combine this with taking all the coats from where they are hidden and placing them in a more central location, such as a chair in the living room, so that everyone can see (and put on) easily.
Let’s talk about our plans for the next day.
Another way to help guests know that you are ready to relax is by mentioning what you intend to do the next day. Start a sentence with “Well, we have an early day tomorrow because we’re going to …” and fill in the gap with real or imagined activities that really start pretty early. Or mourn the fact that you have to work. Nobody can argue with that.
Recruit the winged
We talked about using a special “helper” to keep people out of the kitchen while you cook. Why not use the same friend to help you organize your finale of the day? Ask if they are ready to lead the move out the door when the time is right. They can do this by inviting everyone to go somewhere else, like a local bar (if it’s a party atmosphere), or just stand up and say, “Well, I know you have an early day tomorrow, so I’m going to go out.
As soon as the first guest leaves, the others will follow suit – and you’ll be one step closer to the second serving of apple pie on the couch in blissful, deafening silence.