I’ve been pretty lucky to this point. I haven’t had to host a full Thanksgiving dinner yet. I have always just contributed a couple dishes as sides because we travel on Thanksgiving. My birthday is actually on Thanksgiving this year. We’ve already talked about how to be a good guest so today we’re going to talk about how to be a great host. You know I entertain a ton throughout the year. So entertaining on Thanksgiving is very similar to throwing a dinner party for friends. Your timing just needs to be impeccable.
10 commandments of hosting Thanksgiving
Have a game plan. You should have a master list of all the things you need to do each day leading up to the big day. Sometimes I even break down my list into things I need to do in the house and errands that I need to run. Then I prioritize those tasks into things that have to be done first and what can wait.
Create a Menu. Thanksgiving is mainly about the food. Of course you want to gather with your friends and family, but it centers around the food. Creating a menu will help you stay on track with your timing and help you get everything on the table. Have you ever gone to clean up at the end of a party and said, “oh where are the sweet potatoes?” You totally forgot to put that out. Refer to your menu frequently.
Accept help. I have a hard time with this one. However, if people are asking to bring sides then why not? I wouldn’t give away all the sides, but a couple made from other people might make the dinner have a neat variety of foods to serve.
Confirm the guest list. I have always arrived to a party that has a sit down dinner and the table is already set. The host usually has name cards set out where they want you to sit. If you don’t RSVP in enough time it could throw their whole seating arrangement off.
Don’t try new recipes. It is not a good idea to try a Pinterest recipe for the first time on Thanksgiving. I always like to make my tried and true recipes that are family favorites and take things I know people have liked in the past. Trying new recipes can be very tricky.
Do as much ahead of time as possible. Setting the table is a great thing to do in advance. If there are dishes that you can put together or cook early try to get those out of the way as well. Some desserts are actually better made the day before because it gives them time to be refrigerated over night. You can always clean and prepare your home in advance for your guests as well.
Shower midway through so you’re ready. This one used to get me every time. Darin was usually greeting people alone as I was rushing to get my shower. I finally learned to have my outfit set out with makeup, jewelry, and shoes already picked out and ironed ready to go so after my shower I could be ready to jump in my clothes and get going to finish everything.
Have a schedule planned out for the day. You want to try to stick to a timeline. The food should be already timed out. You can go off that. It is easier to plan everything around when the food will be ready. I’m sure the guys are watching football or they may even be out playing football.
Be in the moment and enjoy friends and family. It’s easier said than done. As host, you are going to be in charge of this day whether things go right or wrong. So just do the best you can and enjoy your family when you can. Hopefully, you have awesome guests that help out when/if needed.
Do wine! It’s easier and most people like it. Enough said.
If you’re hosting this year be as prepared as possible and then just let the stress go. If you try your best I know your little group will see that and it will come across as genuine.