You’re hosting Thanksgiving at your place! You took the cake—rather, the pie, and it’s not an easy feat. Luckily, there are steps that you can take to make this Thanksgiving event both effortless and extraordinary.
Essential Steps You Can Follow
By the time your guests arrive, you want everything to be settled: the table is set, the turkey is done, and everyone—including you—is happy. There are steps you can take earlier in the day, or even days ahead, to ensure that the evening is a success.
Step 1. Plan Your Menu
Before you preheat the oven, you should first decide what exactly is going in it. Whether you’re hosting a smaller dinner or a larger feast, we have Cornish Hens that can feed two to four people or a Turkey that can feed up to eight people.
You can also take some of the stress off your back by asking your dinner guests to generously bring some contributions to the table, like sides or desserts. If they’re stuck for options, you can refer them to our easy to make Thanksgiving kits.
2. Prep the Sides Early
Speaking of sides: A great way to manage your time is to prepare your Thanksgiving sides while the main dish is roasting. Sides like mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, can be placed in the fridge and preserved so you can focus your attention on other tasks, like setting the table or greeting guests.
3. Offer Drinks for Guests of All Ages
Thanksgiving is a time to bring everybody, of all ages, together for one meal. In the spirit of togetherness, consider offering beverages that are non-alcoholic, as well as alcoholic. For example, offer sparkling cider, in lieu of champagne. Apple cider, chai tea, and eggnog are all fun to spike once and awhile, but they’re also delicious in their own accord. Be sure to label which beverages are kid-friendly, and which are adult-only.
4. Set the Table Before Guests Arrive
It can be a stressful scenario if you’re scrambling to finish the final touches as your guests are arriving to the door. Set the mood beforehand, by setting the table ahead of time. This will also allow you to assess who is sitting next to whom, or whether or not you want a “kids table.” If you’re unsure of how to set your table for Thanksgiving, have a gander at this handy resource, from our proud partner, Pier 1.
5. Celebrate the Holiday with Seasonal Decor
The magic of Thanksgiving is found in the food, in the company you invite, and in the details. Imagine little salt and pepper shakers shaped like pumpkins, a serving dish with a positive affirmation like “gather,” or cutlery with accents of gold. These are the decor details that spark joyful and lively conversations at the table, and they can all be found at Pier 1!
6. Keep the Kids Busy
Keeping the little ones entertained is not always an easy task. But, if you plan ahead with games, crafts, or activities, you won’t have to worry about keeping a strict eye. Besides, as the host, you have a million things going on at a time.
Remember the hand turkey crafts you used to make as a kid? They’re still fun! Provide colorful cardboard paper, markers, and crayons, and show the little ones how to create their own turkeys. On each finger have them write one thing that they are grateful for and invite them to read it out loud at dinner. You can also print out Thanksgiving-themed coloring pages ahead of time for your young guests to enjoy.
7. Have Fun!
We’ve saved the most important step for last: Have fun! Enjoy the company that you're entertaining. You prepared and completed your tasks ahead of time, so permit yourself the pleasure to sit back, relax, and take it all in.
How Will You Decorate for Thanksgiving?
What details do you like to present when you set up for Thanksgiving dinner? As the host, is there a favorite piece of seasonal decoration that you just can’t wait to set at the table? Share your traditions with us, as well as any questions or comments. We’re always thankful to hear from you.