Does the thought of hosting Thanksgiving leave feeling completely overwhelmed, or have you running around in a frenzy like a turkey with it’s head cut off (yes, you’ve just been hit with a bad pun). Well, don’t give up just yet. Hosting Thanksgiving can be fun – for everyone…the host included!
Getting it right is all about planning and a little perspective. And when we do get it right, hosting a holiday celebration and meal can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life – truthfully. Think about it, one of the things that gives our lives real meaning and satisfies the soul is the time we spend making memories with the people who matter most to us. So here are my top tips to help you host your best Thanksgiving – ever.
1. Get a bird’s eye view
Think about the overview of the day – who will be in attendance, timing, activities, and of course the meal. And write down it down. Think of the who, what, where, how and how many. This outline will help you to plan properly and anticipate needs.
2. Carve out a plan
This is about logistics. Now that you have considered the number guests you will host , the time of day, the flow of meal service , what activities will keep your guests entertained prior to dinner, etc., take this information and formulate your plan. Detail what needs to get done, who will do it (remember, just because you’re the host doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. Ask for help and delegate some of the tasks. Family and friends are happy to get involved. Having a plan will ensure that planning goes smoothly.
3. Set the scene.
Spend time carefully laying out the linen and setting the table (we share how in this video). This is a holiday that’s all about togetherness, so a long feasting table and family style meal service works well. Scape the table with the colors of fall using seasonal flowers or pumpkins and squash, and personalize each place setting with a name card. And if you would like help to setting the scene with fine linen, unique tablescape and creative special touches, give us a call, and we’d be happy to help you make this year’s celebration a memorable one.
4. Mix it up
Who says it HAS to be parade, football, dinner, nap, more football, another nap. While that schedule is all well and fine, why not mix things up a bit. Make a plan for good ol’ fashioned fun and conversation. After dinner clear the table or gather everyone in the den for a game. Trust me – it makes for good times and fun memories, and I AM one of those family members or guests who secretly wants to run for the hills or cry tummy ache when I hear the words, from an uber-enthusiastic aunt, “let’s play a game!”. It has always needed up being a memorable and special time. Also, though we love the same faces we see each year during the holidays, consider adding in some new ones. There are always people in town do not have family or may not be able to go home for the holiday. New faces bring new energy, new perspective and expand our gift of love.
5. Give ‘em the bird
…so to speak. Send guests off with a little goody bag (Note: Yes, this does require you to prepare a little additional, so adjust your shopping lists, prep time, etc. accordingly). Purchase inexpensive food containers, and send everyone home with a little turkey and maybe even some of the fixin’s, and include a note of Thanksgiving – reminding each person that they are special to you and having them with you makes the day complete.
Bonus Tip: Get perspective
This is perhaps the most important. Before doing anything else to prepare, take time to reflect on the meaning of Thanksgiving. Yes, the day stands out in our minds as one of our favorite feasting holidays of the year, but I encourage you to take time out of your busy day to truly think about what Thanksgiving means – what it truly looks like to live a life of Thanksgiving. Taking this time to remind ourselves of the true meaning of the day and of the gift of family and friends helps us to keep things in perspective, and it also helps us to stave off the frenzy, fury and frustration that often comes with the pressures of achieving perfection – which in and of itself will be a blessing to you and everyone in your household !
So there you have it, keep these tips in mind when planning your holiday celebrations, and you are sure to be remembered as the hostess with the mostess savvy.
Do you have any other tips to share with our reader that would reduce stress or add fun to their holiday celebrations? If so, please share below in a comment.