Thanksgiving invite during pandemic? Here's how to politely decline

Thanksgiving Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Now that state and local officials have advised us not to gather in-person for Thanksgiving how does one tactfully turn down an invitation to dinner?

“I’d pick up the phone and call them, obviously. Have a conversation. Don’t try to do it in a text message or email,” says Jessica Lieffring, founder of The Polite Society that does etiquette coaching in Chicago.

“Just say you appreciate the invitation, you were really looking forward to it,” she adds. “But because of the recent surge of coronavirus cases and the guidance of our government, you’re going to decline.”

What about a Zoom Thanksgiving? You know, put your napkin in your lap and your laptop on the dining table.

“Probably not, I would say,” Lieffring says, laughing. “No one wants to watch other people eat, especially if you’re not at the same table.

“The experience of dining together is kind of for the company, and the eating should be secondary. That’s why we try to have manners, so that you’re as discreet as possible while you are actually eating.”

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