Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time this year? Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can seem like a large and overwhelming task, but with a few simple tips, you can make your first Thanksgiving dinner a huge (and stress-free) success.
The best way to minimize the stress of hosting your first Thanksgiving is by being organized. Making a list of how many people you’ll be expecting will help you be able to properly plan how much food to purchase and how much seating you’ll need. Once you have a handle on how many people to expect, create a checklist of things that will need to be purchased, rented, or cooked to help you host a stress-free Thanksgiving.
Take a look at items that you may already have enough of to host a large crowd (such as cookware or serveware) and take inventory of items that you might need more of (such as china, glassware, flatware, and linens). Oftentimes, it’s much easier and less expensive to rent these items that you don’t use in your day-to-day life than it is to purchase them for one special occasion.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when hosting your first Thanksgiving is thinking that you have to do it all yourself. Rather than taking on the entire dinner yourself, feel free to enlist the help of your guests. Does you mom make the best homemade mashed potatoes? Great! Ask her to make the potatoes this year. Including guests in the process of hosting your first Thanksgiving will make them feel included and involved, so don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Prepping parts of the meal before Thanksgiving will help save you a lot of time in the kitchen on the big day. Things like cutting vegetables or prepping casseroles ahead of time will make your Thanksgiving dinner run much smoother since you won’t need to focus as much on the “smaller” items and can spend more of your time focused on the highlight of the dinner- the Turkey.
Get Creative with Seating
For many people, finding enough seating for guests is one of the biggest challenges for hosting Thanksgiving. Get creative with seating by utilizing your dining room or hosting a “Buffet Style” Thanksgiving in order to help you accommodate all of your Thanksgiving dinner guests. Renting tables and chairs can also be an inexpensive way to ensure that everyone has a place to sit for dinner.
Festive decorations can go a long way for setting the mood at your Thanksgiving dinner. Some decorative candles, centerpieces, or even Fall-themed napkins will help your Thanksgiving dinner feel more special for your guests.
Plan for after-dinner entertainment
After the meal is done, many guests will want to stick around and socialize. A great way to encourage conversation and keep the fun going is by providing low-key entertainment such as board games, puzzles, or charades. Try to provide entertainment that can include a large group and appeals to all of the ages that will be attending your Thanksgiving dinner.
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