Each Thanksgiving you expect cranberry sauce, a few extra pounds and maybe some gentle teasing from your distant cousin. But blaring cell phone rings? Camera flashes? The clatter of teens sending rapid-fire texts? Unfortunately these are some new habits that have now encroached on the traditional Thanksgiving day festivities.

To help keep harmony when your family gathers next week, AT&T has created a few tips that will ensure a peaceful and stress-free Thanksgiving without the interference of overwhelming cell phone usage.  Here are AT&T’s Top Five Tips on cell phone etiquette at Thanksgiving:

  1. Silence is golden – All cell phones should be on silent or vibrate mode on Thanksgiving day
  2. Create a cell-phone free zone – Family can text, talk, surf online, and check Facebook as much as they want during the football game and kitchen prep, but not at the Thanksgiving table
  3. No paparazzi – Take photos of family before or after the meal, but don’t whip out your camera phone during dinner
  4. Take personal conversations outside (or in a different room) – If you must take or make a call on Thanksgiving day, step outside or into another room, so that others aren’t forced to overhear your call
  5. Take a break between courses –if people need to check their phones build in breaks between the meal and dessert when everyone is stretching their legs anyway

Editor’s Note:  I love these tips — except I think #5 – take a break – doesn’t need to include technology.  I would add one pre-dinner paparazzi shot – I especially love taking a picture of the table loaded with food, color, and memories about to happen.

How about a technology-free Thanksgiving?  Family, thanks, food, what more can you ask for?