DEAR MISS MANNERS: What’s the protocol on appetizers at Thanksgiving?
GENTLE READER: No one knows.
If you provide enough to stave off your guests’ hunger until everyone arrives, those on time will complain of feeling stuffed halfway through dinner. They will keep eating, but the insinuation that you are force-feeding them will be annoying, considering all the work you did on their behalf.
However, if you skip appetizers (or have very light ones), the turkey will not be done when expected and your grandfather will need extra time to get there. So those who arrived on time will still get cross. Despite it being the middle of the afternoon, someone will ask, “Do you have any nuts or anything?” and others will wander into the kitchen hoping to take some advance pokes into the pots.
Miss Manners wishes you a happy Thanksgiving.