Thanksgiving is here, almost as soon as Halloween is over. There’s never been a better time to gather with your family and friends. So you decide to host the dinner this year. We’ve given you tips on designing the best tablescapes before and now I’m here to give you a checklist with tips for hosting Thanksgiving dinner that will make your life easier.
What to do Before Thanksgiving?
Create an Entrance
First and last impressions are the most important, even for family. Start by adding some fall colored shrubs, or consider hay bales and pumpkins to the front porch. It will create a warm welcoming to the house. Perfect opportunity to reuse some of the classier decor from Halloween too!
Tidy Up the Bathroom
It’s important that your bathroom is equally as clean as your living and dining room.
It might be one of the first spots your guests go to and any untidiness can be a turn-off. A pleasant-looking bathroom can create a sense of relaxation and make your guests feel at ease.
Send Out Invitations
Digital invites are a great way to send invites to your guest list — save that paper and energy!
Set up a date and ask your guests to RSVP. This shouldn’t be an issue as you have already limited your list to close peers only. At the end of it, you will have an idea about the quantity of food and space needed to accommodate everyone.
I like these free and pretty digital invites for hosting.
Check Your Kitchen First, Stock Up Later
It’s easy to get carried away and buy tons of new tableware. Hold on to that thought. Go through your kitchen cabinets and any storage before buying anything!
See if you have enough of your prettiest dinner sets and before deciding to buy the new one you so loved at the store. At the same time, do a quick sweep in your fridge for any food gone bad. Clear it out and make space to stock up with fresh groceries.
Get Your Family and Friends Involved
After you’ve drafted out a list of things you want to do, ask your family or friends to join you in tidying up and getting ready. The more the merrier.
Delegate tasks like getting them to help you declutter your house or go grocery shopping together. That way, you can briefly catch-up and have fun looking forward to the dinner!
Personalize the Table
While you saved up on the paper for invitations, it’s nicer to write up hand-written place cards for assigning seats.
Perhaps, go out of your way by placing an old photo of them like this. Your family will love the gesture and the thought that went into it.
For a space that’s a bit tight, try hanging up a simple DIY centerpiece like here. It will leave the table spacious and really make it pop at the same time!
What to do on Thanksgiving day?
It’s About Sharing Not Cooking
The old saying ‘sharing is caring’ can come in handy. Have your family and friends bring over some dishes like the dessert.
If you are a sweet-tooth and keen on baking, they can offer to cook a side dish instead. That way, they can also avoid any ingredients that give them allergies and it will be one less strain on your shoulders.
Create a Child-Friendly environment
It’s likely at some point, the grownups will indulge in wine and juicy gossip. Meanwhile, the kids sitting there will get bored, so get in there first with a few tricks up your sleeve.
Before there’s any broken glass, steer clear of any fragile objects and make room on shelves for placing things, such as cups. Also, lock any rooms earlier on like storage or personal areas, bedrooms; wherever you don’t want them to roam. You’ll thank me later!
To deal with playtime smoothly, dedicate a small area of your home for the children within sight of the table. This will help parents to completely relax while chatting away and create a stress-free atmosphere overall.
Bring Your Own Something
After all the preparation, you realize something is missing. There’s no time to panic, simply ask your guests if they can bring those along.
They can bring over a board game or even a folding chair. They are your family after all, and keen to help!
Give Away Leftover
Prepare some plastic boxes, or encourage your relatives to bring Tupperware for them to take away any food that is still in good condition.
In other cases, you can offer it to any friendly neighbors as a ‘thank you’ as well.
Clean Up as a Family
Last but not least, clean up together. It will be so much efficient if everyone lends a helping hand and put away their plates into the dishwasher or soak them up at the sink.
Involve the children in decluttering the house as well, they are pretty good with menial tasks like stacking away their toys.
All done. Now sit back, iron your favorite dress and enjoy the dinner. If all plans fail to oblige, simply improvise as you go and don’t take it personally. You have done everything you could and your family and friends will be thanking the heavens you took up the big role of hosting. Have a lovely Thanksgiving!