Thanksgiving is one of the most important family gatherings of the year and is also one of the most enjoyable ones. If you're neither the host nor the head chef, Thanksgiving is usually more fun. It can be intimidating if you've never hosted a holiday party before.
Hosting entails a great deal of responsibility and a long to-do list, but with enough planning, it can be a breeze. While Thanksgiving calls for more dishes than usual, chances are you've already mastered the majority of these classics. It's critical to have all of your ducks in a straight line in terms of the cuisine, guest list and decorating, so you can plan your time effectively and make the day as comfortable as possible. If extra hands are available, request assistance so that the host can enjoy the vacation as well. Whatever the size of the party, keep in mind that your guests will be delighted to spend time with you on this special day, so don't stress the small stuff. Remember, the most significant part of hosting a party is to have fun with your guests.
If you've been handed the hosting baton this year—either because your entire family is unable to assemble due to the coronavirus, and now you must prepare the household's feast, or because it's a generational passing of the torch—we understand your initial reaction is to panic. So you've been entrusted with hosting Thanksgiving this year, and as the big family holiday approaches, you're starting to feel a little panicked. Hosting Thanksgiving for the first time can indeed be stressful, although not terrifying, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some tips for hosting your first-time Thanksgiving party.
Maintain a Straightforward Approach
It's important to focus on keeping everything simple. If this is your first time planning a Thanksgiving dinner, don't consider arranging more than you can manage. To keep things flowing smoothly, stick to tried-and-true recipes or family favorites.
And keep the drinks simple—instead of creating individual cocktails which takes time, a slow cooker full of spiced cider can be both kid-friendly and quickly turned into an alternate alcoholic choice for adults.
Make a Plan
Make a detailed plan for the big event, including seating arrangements, cooking timetables, table layouts, and kitchen requirements. Thanksgiving is a huge task — especially cooking — so break it up into small parts each day to make the occasion less stressful. You'll feel less burdened if you organize your approach. It's also crucial to consider your culinary abilities and comfort level while organizing the menu. If necessary, assign duties so that you don't bite off more than you can chew. Accept any offers of assistance with buying or preparing that you get.
Arrangement For Gifts
You can surprise your guests by giving them various gifts like thanksgiving shirts
, cards, handmade crafts, perfume, etc. This will make your guests happy and cordial towards yours.
Boundaries are important in hosting Thanksgiving, as they are in so many other aspects of life. Send out invites stating the exact time you want your guests to arrive. Request a response to your invitation. You must determine if guests will remain overnight, and they must determine whether you are prepared to accommodate overnight guests. After everything is said and done, and you'd want to curl up on the couch and drink the rest of the bourbon, unexpected overnight guests seem to be the last thing you want, and guests coming two hours early may disrupt your perfectly planned preparation time.
Purchase Your Groceries
Make a list of everything you want to do. With the prepared list visit the grocery. Do this a few days before the event, and you'll have plenty of time to not only prepare the meals that can be prepared ahead of time but also to run back to the market for whatever you may have forgotten. You don't want to be one of those frenzied, zombie-like folks having a meltdown about parsnips in the grocery store early on a Thursday morning.
Prepare the Table
This should be done the day before Thanksgiving dinner. Not only will you have one less thing to worry about on the big day, but it will also help you detect any tableware gaps. Are you short on spoons? It's better to know early than to find out later when you've got a room full of people and your guest is unable to eat dessert due to a lack of utensils. You might be tempted to go a little crazy with the decorations. A good tablecloth, some pretty napkins, and a solid flower arrangement, on the other hand, will suffice, it will not break the budget, as well as not drive you insane.
Don't Forget the Drinks
Beverages are an important part of this equation that is often ignored. Don't forget to have non-alcoholic options on hand for kids
and anyone who doesn’t want to drink alcohol. Is there a way? Spiced cider in a large slow cooker, with bourbon or rum on the side for those who want it. Make individual cocktails a thing of the past. It's customary to provide the wine with dinner, but don't feel obligated to do so. Serve a strong, hearty red and a fresh white wine by simply passing the bottles around the table and allowing guests to serve themselves.
Provide Guests with To-go Boxes
Set out the food
once again and hand out to-go boxes as visitors begin to leave. It's such a sweet farewell, and let's be honest: few of us like to eat Thanksgiving leftovers later on.
Have Pleasure in Yourself
It's easy to overlook this one. Making sure you don't look like a disaster before your guests arrive is one aspect of having fun while hosting the party. Choose your attire ahead of time, double-check that it's clean and ready, and allow extra time to wash the flour, butter, and gravy off your hair and face. Then, as the doorbell rings and your house fills up, just stick to your meticulously rehearsed game-day strategy. What if your meticulously planned game-day strategy falls apart? Don't worry–everyone is on your side, eager to assist, and honestly relieved that they won't be hosting Thanksgiving this year.
With these guidelines in mind, I'm confident that your first Thanksgiving hosting experience will be a success. Best wishes for hosting your first Thanksgiving party!