Ariel posted a wonderful list of reminders on how to be a good Thanksgiving guest last week. As one commenter pointed out, these are good tips for any time, not just for Thanksgiving. But there was one little tip that was missing from the list that I have found to be super helpful, whether as guest or as host.
Bring your own leftovers containers!
One of the ongoing issues when sending guests home with a few Thanksgiving leftovers is finding the proper containers. There just never seems to be enough containers, or ones that are the right size, or aren't from your favorite (expensive) picnic set. So as a guest, I always pack a few plastic containers in my bags just in case.
As a host, I often pick up a pack or two of disposable aluminum foil pie tins at the grocery store as a part of my holiday shopping. They're the right size for leftovers and once covered and sealed in aluminum foil, make the perfect to-go containers.
Another option is to pack the leftovers in the dish that you brought your contribution in, if indeed you brought a contribution and the dish is appropriately sized and shaped.
But the most important, overarching rule? Don't assume that you will be getting leftovers! It's hard enough (and costly enough) to put on a big feast, so I always feel like leftovers are a bonus and not a given. So while I may pack an extra container in hopes that there will be leftovers, I certainly do not expect it. I'll only reach for them if it's very clear that the leftovers are being offered.