How To: Decline a Thanksgiving Invitation

The tableUh-oh. You've been invited to Thanksgiving at your Aunt Barbara's place, as well as your in-law's, your best friend's, your boss's, your neighbor's and your husband's golf buddy's, too. How do you choose where to go and how to graciously decline the other invitations?

If you are part of a "we," then your first response to any invitation should always be, "Thank you so much for the invitation. I'll talk to ____ about it and get back to you right away." Your significant other should do the same. This not only shows respect for each other, but it also buys you a little time and introduces the possibility that you may have to decline. (If you are single, reply with something like, "Thank you so much for the invitation. I will let you know right away.")

Decide (together) which invitation to accept and then respond as soon as possible to all of them. Nobody should have to wait on your response for more than a day or two. To the ones you must decline, keep your reply short, sweet and to the point. Resist the urge to delve into all the reasons why you wish you could accept the invitation, but can't because of this reason or that. Thank them again for their thoughtfulness to invite you, then politely let them know that you won't be able to come. It's a nice idea to offer a counter-invitation with your decline. Sure, you can't make it for Thanksgiving dinner, but how about inviting them over for turkey sandwiches and board games at your place the next day? Or dinner next week? Or Black Friday shopping? Most invitations come because somebody genuinely wants to spend time with you, so offer your face time where you can. Agree or disagree? How do you tactfully decline a Thanksgiving invitation?
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