With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s about that time to start thinking about your celebration, especially if you’re the one hosting! Here are a couple of tips and tricks we’ve picked up over the years that you can use to make your Thanksgiving celebration run smoothly.
DO: Take on only as much as you think will be fun. Don’t overdo it, you want this to be an enjoyable evening for everyone, including yourself! Keep the size of the gathering to an amount of people you’re actually comfortable hosting in your home. By not taking on too much, you’re going to ensure the best time for everyone!
DON’T: Feel like you have to make everything from scratch. There are plenty of delicious alternatives to cooking yourself, whether that’s picking up desserts from your local bakery or ordering dishes from your favorite restaurant or catering company. Ordering or buying a couple of your harder-to-make dishes is going to make your day all the more relaxed enjoyable for both you and your guests.
DO: Plan ahead. One of the easiest ways to make your Thanksgiving morning less stressful is to prepare some of your dishes in advance. A trick that Aimee uses every year is to make her rolls a few days before Thanksgiving and then freeze them. By doing this, they stay fresh and on the day of all she has to do is pop them in the oven, saving time and unnecessary stress!
DO: Delegate to guests. Just because you’re hosting doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself! Guests are going to be more than happy to pitch in, plus this is a great way for people to showcase their cooking skills. It’s absolutely okay to ask guests to bring a dish or dessert for the party, and involving everyone in the preparation of the meal is going to add to the Thanksgiving spirit.
DON’T: Forget tupperware to send leftovers home with guests. We all love the traditional day-after-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to want to have those leftovers in your fridge a week or two later!
DO: Have an icebreaker. If your guests don’t know each other (or even if they do!) a fun activity at the start of the evening is a great way to get everyone mingling. One of our favorites is asking guests in advance to submit one or two obscure facts about themselves, so that they can guess which facts belong to which person. This is a great way to not only test how well you all know each other, but also learn some new information about your friends and family!
DON’T: Forget to leave space on the table for food. While setting your Thanksgiving dinner table, it’s easy to overlook the fact that even though you want to fill the table with pretty settings and centerpieces, you still need to fit all of the food!
DO: Make a large-batch cocktail or punch. Doing this is going to allow your guests to help themselves to the bar while you’re cooking. Plus, this is a quick and easy way for you to try out a fun new cocktail for all of your guests to enjoy together on Thanksgiving.
DON’T: Wear tight clothing! The best part about Thanksgiving is the food, and at the end of the night you’re going to be thanking yourself for not wearing an uncomfortable outfit. There are plenty of ways to dress up in “comfy chic,” i.e. a dress or big sweater, so that you can look stylish in an outfit you’re going to be happy in all night.
DO: Consider hiring someone to help with the clean-up. After an evening filled with family and fun, cleaning up isn’t going to be something you’re looking forward to. One of our favorites is Protocol Staffing to help out with set up and/or break down after an event.