Some families allow guests to show up empty handed, and just sit down and eat. Other families have other traditions that require people to actually make stuff for the family to share.

If you’re on the hook to bring something, ideally it’s something simple that you can’t screw up, like …

  • A cheese plate
  • Premade dinner rolls
  • Canned green beans
  • Canned corn
  • Canned anything
  • Pumpkin pie … straight from the bakery section of your grocery store

You’ll definitely want to steer clear of bringing anything that’s “twice baked” or includes “zest.”

Also, do not be fooled here … Mashed potatoes sound simple, but they’re a lot of work and make a big mess in the kitchen. Unless you can get away with bringing a box or two of that instant stuff. (Vice)