Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means it’s time to start making plans. If you will be visiting family or friends, the planning process is pretty straightforward. If, however, you will be hosting an event, things get a bit more complicated. That said, hosting Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, playing host can actually be quite fun, especially when you’re able to put together an incredible event. Fortunately, we know some tricks that will help you pull off an absolutely amazing Thanksgiving gathering. Use these simple tips and your friends and family will be in awe over your super planning skills.
1. Enlist Help
Nobody deserves to do all of the work on Thanksgiving. Avoid feeling like an event employee in your own kitchen by enlisting the help of family and friends. Invite a sibling to help you cook and ask guests to bring sides. Most people are happy to help and lightening your load a bit means you can focus on making every dish taste incredible.
2. Make Lists
Start with a menu. From there, you can make a list of the things you’ll be cooking and write down every ingredient you need to buy before you begin. While you’re at it, you may also want to create a cooking schedule. This will help ensure things make it into the oven on time and everything is ready to go when the guests arrive.
3. Use Tried-and-True Recipes
While there’s a time and place for trying new things, Thanksgiving may not be it. Don’t make your guests recipe guinea pigs – experiment with new dishes another time. Instead of testing new things, stick to tried-and-true options you know people will enjoy. It’s also a good idea to make sure all the Thanksgiving staples will be on the table before you add anything surprising to the menu.
4. Get Started Early
Rushing and cooking don’t go together, and you really shouldn’t try to make them. Instead, get started a few days in advance by preparing things that keep well before the big day. Foods like pumpkin pie, deviled eggs, and veggie trays can all be stored for a couple of days without issue, and making them ahead of time means less to do on the day of.
5. Consider Special Dietary Needs
When creating your menu, consider the needs of the people you’ll be feeding. Find out if anyone has allergies or special dietary restrictions and do your best to work around them. Is a vegetarian coming? Be sure to offer plenty of meat-free options. Do you have a friend on a gluten-free diet? Ask what dishes they can have and provide an array of compliant options.
6. Assign Seats
While it might seem a bit over-the-top to assign seats at the table, in many cases, it’s actually a good idea. This is especially true if you will be inviting a number of people who don’t know each other well. If you do assign seats, make sure to seat couples together and try to mix vivacious guests in amongst the quieter diners.
7. Entertain Children
Children deserve to have fun on Thanksgiving, too. Unfortunately, they just aren’t entertained by adult conversation. Therefore, if there will be kids at your party, be sure to offer them some sort of entertainment. This might mean setting up a craft table or it could mean giving them a quiet place to watch a movie. No matter what you do, the kids will appreciate it. By following these tips, you’ll be sure to host an incredible event that your loved ones will rave about. Who knows? Maybe it’ll go over so well, you’ll be asked to host again next year!