Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is a yearly tradition for some, and for some it's more of a rite of passage, signaling you have officially made it to the "adult" list. Whether this is your first time hosting the holiday or something you do every year, here is a list of tips that might make it just a little bit less stressful! Plan Ahead
Plan the menu, place settings, table decor, and other details ahead of time. Make a grocery list after you have finalized your menu, and utilize a grocery delivery or pick up service to save time. Make sure you have everything on hand so there won't be any last minute supermarket runs!
Don't plan to try all new recipes or choose overly complicated, time consuming recipes to make for Thanksgiving. Your guests will expect the traditional fare, so don't overthink it, and stick with the basic Thanksgiving goods everyone loves!
Give yourself permission to keep it simple. If you stress out about all the details, just remember your everyday dishes, silverware and glassware are completely appropriate for celebrating. If you lenjoy setting an elaborate table, definitely do that, but keep in mind, it is acceptable to go basic with the table setting and let the meal take center stage! Either way, make sure you give yourself enough time to get the table decor and place settings just how you want them without feeling rushed. Setting the table the evening before is ideal, that way it makes one less thing to even have to think about on Thanksgiving Day.
Prepare as Much as You Can Ahead of Time
Most of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes can be prepared in the days preceding your celebration. Make as much as you can ahead of time and store in the refrigerator, that way you can simply put things in the oven and spend time getting yourself ready for your guests arrival instead of slaving away all day in the kitchen! Remember, when you are relaxed and happy your guests will be too!
Don't Feel Like You Have to Fly Solo
It is perfectly acceptable to have your guests bring some part of dinner too. Everyone loves Aunt Betty's mac and cheese? Ask her if she'd be willing to bring it. She will be flattered that you appreciate her culinary abilities and happy to contribute to the festivities. A few compliments go a long way here; Most guests will be happy to bring something everyone raves about!
Set Up Separate Stations for Drinks and Desserts
Whether you are serving cocktails, wine, soft drinks, or water, having a separate space for a drink station helps with the flow of traffic and also encourages conversation between guests who might not be seated in close proximity. Having a separate dessert station allows guests to get dessert at their own pace, eliminating the need to be serving multiple people at staggered times and frees you up to enjoy your guests!
Have Plenty of Storage Containers on Hand
Make sure you have storage containers at your disposal. Glass, plastic, or ziploc containers will allow you to put away any leftovers quickly (without rummaging through your cabinets!) and get back to enjoying time with your guests! Having plenty of disposable containers also makes it easy to send each guest home with some leftovers if you prefer to not have a fridge full!
The best memories are about the people and the time you spend together, not the food or the table settings. Make sure that you are being intentional about being present in the moment and enjoying the time together!