Turkey day is just around the corner, and it’s your turn to host. Don’t sweat it. Check out these seven tips to hosting a memorable Thanksgiving dinner!
1 First things first, get an accurate count of who will be joining you. Not only is this vital to your preparations, but you don’t want poor Aunt Helen out on the porch! Whether you have a grand dining room or a cozy space, you want your guests relaxed; comfortable guests are happy guests so plan out your strategy. If you have a large space along with a hefty guest list, plan to rent or borrow some tables. With a smaller space, you don’t want anyone squished in a corner with no room to wiggle, so try some alternative seating by pulling over some chairs from the living room to create a more laid back feel. Here are tips for a party in small space.
2 Think about what you want to cook, gather the recipes and craft your list. You will feel more confident that things will go off without a hitch if you have everything you need on hand. Don’t wait until the last minute to pick up that turkey! 10 Great Thanksgiving Day Recipes.
3 First time cooking the bird or trying something new? Try out new recipes in advance if you are unsure of their outcome or you doubt your culinary expertise. You could try the ingredients you plan to slather on the turkey on a small Cornish hen to get a sense of the flavors. It won’t taste just like a turkey, but you’ll get an idea on how your ingredients blend together.
4 When guests offer to help out by bringing a dish, don’t turn them down! This can be a great way of saving time and money while allowing guests to share in their own special way! Keep a list of this as well. You don’t want to end up with four sweet potato pies and no stuffing!
5 Keep the kids entertained. Print out some thanksgiving coloring sheets, pop in a movie, turn on that PS3 or send them outdoors to enjoy some play time in the fresh air. If they are old enough, or so inclined, let the kids bake up cookies, serve Hors d’oeuvres or set the table. Some kids and teens enjoy actively participating in the celebrations. Caution – if they don’t seem interested, don’t force it – this can only lead to chaos! Find Thanksgiving Day Activities.
6 You need not be kin to Martha Stewart to wow your guests with beautiful accessories. The food will serve as the major focus so try not to clutter the table. Channel nature and the season for a charming and festive atmosphere. Take a cue from the outdoors with some fall tones of deep browns, reds, oranges or greens for a nice pop of color! A nice table cloth will prettify the table and instantly glam it up. Try to blend textures for a luxurious appearance. Simple and natural elements such as apples, mini pumpkins or squash in a bowl create a seasonal look. Use candles to create a warm welcoming vibe (remember to keep candles away from anything flammable and the reach of children). Buy a bag of scented pine cones and place outside your front door in a bowl or wicker basket along with a harvest themed wreath to greet your guests. The mix of the seasonal decor, ambient candlelight, and delicious food will delight all the senses! Here are some tips from Martha herself.
7 Last but not least, don’t forget to enjoy the holiday and those around you. And please, don’t stress over minute details. It’s the time spent with family and all the memories you create together that will remain in your thoughts. At the end of the day, you’ll probably laugh off the wine stain on your new carpet… or will you? Either way it’s your turn to host so keep these tips in mind, let your creativity flow and keep that gorgeous smile on your face. It’s only once a year!