Is It Tacky To Use Paper Plates For Thanksgiving Dinner (And Other Special Occasions)?

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is a great experience.

However, planning the actual feast for over twenty hungry individuals is by no means an easy task.

Just as important as the food itself, but rarely given a second thought, are the plates that the food is served on.

The material, size, color, and styles of the plates can make or break the feast.

In this regard, anyone hosting a turkey dinner will likely ask:

So, Is It Tacky To Use Paper Plates For Thanksgiving Dinner?

Yes, it’s tacky to use paper plates at Thanksgiving and, for that matter, any other special holiday meal. Although most of us dislike washing dishes at Thanksgiving, it is not a reason enough to use paper plates.

During celebrations, many people prefer paper plates because they are disposable. Well, while the practicality of these plates when feeding masses is worth a second thought, using disposable plates for Thanksgiving disrespects the meal and all the work that went into it.

If you are hosting a Thanksgiving party and are wondering where to get started, this post will in depth discuss everything about paper plates to help make an informed decision before you can use them for special day settings.

Paper Plates And Thanksgiving Dinner

We all know that paper plates don’t hold up really well with fluids like gravy.

As such, although their practicality is worth it when feeding crowds, they are not the best you can use to serve a fancy meal.

Considering that the plates on which food is served during celebrations immensely influence your guests’ overall experience, it is imperative to use plates that won’t leave your guests with questions.

For special holiday meals like Thanksgiving dinner, it is advisable that you use functional tableware that won’t make your cooking efforts feel futile.

Basically, you will need to prepare a dining table complete with a tablecloth, real silverware, fabric napkin, proper china plates, and two glasses (one for wine and one for water).

On the flip side, using disposable paper plates for Thanksgiving dinner would be disrespectful to the occasion, the meal, the cooks, and even to your guests.

After all, you are giving thanks, and paper plates aren’t by any way augmenting the theme of the day.

Notably, if you are hosting many relatives, you can use china for grownups and teens, then paper plates for the little ones.

There are so many cute paper plates (decorated for kids) that make kids attending a Thanksgiving feel they are getting something special.

Above everything else, using paper plates for Thanksgiving dinner makes perfect sense if you want to spend much time with your family, not in the sink. You never know when they may leave.

If you are using china, the good news is that you will have teenagers around to do the dishes.

Eight Benefits Of Using Paper Plates

Preparing special events like Thanksgiving dinner is truly nerve-wracking.

You want everything to be perfect while staying on budget. If you are on a tight budget or just want to save money and time, you might find it easier to go with disposable paper plates.

That said, here are the benefits of using paper plates at Thanksgiving.

1. They’re Eco Friendly

Most paper plates are manufactured with plants, meaning they are disposable and biodegradable, and friendly.

Usually, these plates contain some additives that allow them to decompose faster.

What’s more, they don’t release any harmful chemicals like dioxin and Byphel A.

2. They’re Relatively Inexpensive

Unless you are Martha Stewart, there are chances that you will not have enough plates to feed crowds.

That said, if you are hosting a Thanksgiving feast and do not have enough china for all attending guests, buying disposable plates and cutlery can be a good idea rather than renting, which can also be quite expensive.

Paper plates are very affordable, so you don’t have to worry about overspending.

Impressively, they are designed with great styles that will impress your guests. All you need is to buy from a reputable supplier.

3. Paper Plates Come With Elegant Designs

Gone are the days when paper plates were available in tacky designs.

If you are hosting a dinner and want to skip doing the dishes, you can find plenty of beautiful designs from which you choose.

Currently, disposable paper plates come with a sleek design, perfect for adults who appreciate understated minimalist styles and clean lines.

They are also designed to be incredibly versatile and suit many themes, meaning you will find a color scheme and theme that rhymes with your table settings.

4. Disposable (easy cleanup)

Disposable plates allow you to enjoy the turkey dinner without worrying about the cleanup later.

As soon as your guests are done eating, you can simply discard the plates because they are disposable and better biodegradable.

Ultimately, using these plates saves you time and effort for cleaning up, which is a big relief after an exhausting party.

5. Water Savings

Paper plates help you save on water and time that you would use cleaning the dishes.

6. Variety Of Designs

Contemporary paper plates come in every imaginable color, which can contribute to the event’—some options come with shapes and designs that brilliantly imitate ceramic or glass plates.

7. More Time With Family

Because there is nothing to keep you in the sinks, you will have much time to spend with family members, relatives, and other guests.

8. Easy Heating

Most paper plates are also microwave-safe, meaning you can use them to heat food should you want to do so.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Paper Plates For Thanksgiving Dinner

There seem to be big pluses of using paper plates when feeding masses.

Their practicality is what makes them a go-to option during celebrations.

But, among other special celebrations, are they worth using for a Thanksgiving dinner?

Here are the reasons why you should avoid paper plates at Thanksgiving:

1. Impact On Food Taste

The human brain associates real cutlery with high-quality food.

As such, using paper plates for Thanksgiving dinner can make eating less enjoyable, and the food may taste as though it was poorly cooked.

Considering that the association between food and quality of dinnerware and cutlery stems psychological, it could mean that using quality china can make food taste better.

2. Leaves A Bad Impression

If using paper plates makes food not tastier, it is a no-brainer that using them for Thanksgiving dinner is a bad impression on guests.

Many guests will perceive most of the other things negatively, and some may go the extra mile to tease you unmercifully.

To respect the meal and all effort that goes into it, it is a good idea to use real plates and quality cutlery.

3. Extra Trips To The Trash Can

Yes, reusable plates require cleaning, but disposable doesn’t come without extra. From the extra pantry space to keep your paper plates to extra trips to the trash to dispose of the plates, using paper plates means you need some extra space and effort than you thought initially.

4. Wet Mess

Paper plates do not hold up well when wet.

Paper plates also don’t work for hot foods


Paper plates are a no-no at Thanksgiving dinner.

They do not hold up really when wet or with hot foods. Overall, using paper plates for a Thanksgiving dinner is not a good idea and lowers the dignity of the special day.