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Canadian Thanksgiving weekend is upon us.
The Christmas junior of holiday dinners and the seasonally superior one when compared to the Thanksgiving celebrated by our southern neighbours. It’s the warm, sunny kick-off to the carb overload time of year.
After being the bachelor at family dinners for a few years, I know first-hand that bringing empty hands to table never looks thankful. Now happily engaged, I also know that nothing looks better than being proactive and arriving to dinner with something that makes you both look good.
Whether you’re preparing and hosting a dinner yourself or will be making the rounds as a guest, there are plenty of stylish ways to show your thanks with a good side of gentlemanly swagger. The trick? Contributing to the table with an equal helping of good taste and good presentation.
So here are a couple suggestions that makes any man at the Thanksgiving Day dinner table look stylishly thankful.
Potluck o’gold star
It would be better to literally steal someone’s thunder than to do something as egregious as bring a fully cooked turkey to someone else’s Thanksgiving dinner. That said, bringing an appetizer and dessert is both common and acceptable.
Don’t just bring a grocery store pie-in-a-box, or a plastic tray of veggies and dip from the produce section, take advantage of charcuterie’s day in the sun by making your own board, complete with a sturdy slate serving tray, monogrammed with your initial to let people know your cured meats mean business.
SHOP IT: Nordstrom, $52 CAD
The wine and diner
My go to table-gift has usually been to bring a bottle of wine, but rather than look like you haphazardly ducked into a liquor store on the way over, put in a bit of extra effort to show you put more thought into it than you probably did.
Start by going beyond one bottle and go for a celebratory trio. A white for the appetizers, a red for the dinner, and something bubbly show what a classy, thoughtful chap you are. Finish off with one last extra step of showmanship and bring all three in their own little rustic kit, monogrammed wine trough. Show up looking like you just came from your own private vineyard.
SHOP IT: Nordstrom, $119 CAD
Flowers always win
When has giving flowers to anyone, at pretty much anytime, ever been a bad thing? Whether bringing something night of to act as both a sign of your gratitude to serve as centrepiece, or sending the next day to act as a heartfelt thank you, flowers are basically organic pops of happiness that brighten anyone’s day. Really, even people who say they don’t like getting flowers change their tune as soon as they see them- it’s science.
NOTE: If you do opt for the day after send, make sure to line it up immediately. Do not let time lapse too much, lest it look like an afterthought, rather than something heartfelt!
SHOP IT: 1-800-Flowers
The sneak and sip
This one is more of a bonus “nice-touch” rather than contribution on its own, but I often find outdoor components tend to be a part my family’s Thanksgiving dinners, especially if it’s a nice day.
Whether it’s tossing a football in a park or going for a post dinner walk to kickstart your digestion, sneak a bit of autumn mischief with you and whet your whistle with a leather wrapped hip flask of warming whisky and two stainless steel shot cups for sharing.
SHOP IT: Nordstrom, $49 CAD
The decanter club
Lastly, maybe you think ahead towards later in the evening, as the dinner winds down and guests take the initiative to break into some harder libations. Like the wine idea, this one is all about showmanship.
Think about acquiring a nice bottle of smooth sipping whisky or scotch, but don’t stop there, make an impression with a glass or crystal decanter and accompanying glasses, as though you just happened to bring this from your own, personal, well-stocked, well equipped, well accessorized, mahogany-walled private club.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $38 CAD