You’ve been invited to Thanksgiving dinner, and every good guest knows they can’t show up empty-handed. You may think that stopping at the grocery store and picking up some goods will have you covered, free from scrutiny by your aunts, uncles and little cousins for the entire turkey dinner.

But in reality, that dish you’re bringing is loaded with clues about who you are, what you do and what you believe in. Here’s what the food you’re bringing to the Thanksgiving table says about you.

Cheese platter – You’re a people-pleaser. You know that no matter the occasion, everyone likes cheese. You long to see Grandma smile over that gouda, and maybe this is finally the year that you’ll win over Mom’s approval with her favorite slice of brie.

Salad – You’re the family’s token tree-hugger. You’re a vegetarian health freak who adores yoga. You think Lululemon is appropriate for any occasion, and you can’t wait to tell everyone how amazing running the Boston Marathon was last year. You absolutely won’t be having any turkey, pie or alcohol at dinner.

Chips & salsa – You’re not really a person who’s up on current events. In other words, you have no idea what holiday it is. You were just told to bring food, show up and eat food.

Casserole side dish – You grew up in the 1950s. Who makes casseroles these days? That, or you have a sick obsession with Mad Men. 

Six-pack of Budweiser – You’re a broke college dude who wants nothing more this Thanksgiving than to get drunk with your uncle while watching the Patriots’ game.

$10 bottle of wine – You’re a broke college dude who wants it to look like you couldn’t careless about getting drunk or watching the Patriots’ game. I mean you brought wine, how classy is that? (Later you’re found drunk with your uncle watching the Patriots’ game).

$30 bottle of wine – You’re no longer a broke college dude, but you miss the days of being a drunk college dude. You just want to get drunk with your uncle and watch the Patriots’ game after dinner, without the hangover of cheap alcohol.

Store-bought pie – You’re safe. You know that no one will judge you for your store-bought pumpkin pie…because everyone loves pumpkin pie.

Homemade pie – You’re the motherly type. You baked that pie with spices and apples, but also with an extra pinch of love. You offer Aunt Jenny two extra scoops because she’s looking a bit thin this year, and you cut the crust off the edges just the way your brother likes it.

Fully-cooked, oven-roasted turkey – Who are you, Gordon Ramsay? If you show up your host by bringing a turkey, you deserve to be uninvited to every Thanksgiving dinner next year.


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