In the first installment of the Entertaining 101 series, we’ll dive into how even the most inexperienced host can throw an incredible Thanksgiving feast that guests will talk about for years to come.
Thanksgiving is one of the most highly anticipated holidays of the year. Along with the delicious food that is served and the football games to be enjoyed, Thanksgiving allows families and friends to gather together and think about the things that they are truly grateful for. It’s a magical time of year that yields itself to a ton of warm feelings and many fond memories.
But, if you have never hosted a Thanksgiving feast before, it can be hard to know where to start. Entertaining a group of people and ensuring that they have enough food, drink, and fun for the evening can be a little daunting. But, our five steps to hosting a Thanksgiving are so easy that even the most inexperienced hosts can follow.
Entertaining 101: How to Host Thanksgiving Dinner
Determine Who’s Coming to Dinner
Thanksgiving is a time for everyone that you love to gather under one roof and spend time with one another. When you’ve finally decided to host a Thanksgiving dinner, it’s time to put together a guest list. When doing this, think about the dynamic of your guests, whether or not some people get along, and who will create the type of party you’re aiming for.
Lastly, it’s important to make sure that you invite everyone that you want to come in well in advance so they can RSVP promptly. As you’ll see in the following steps, you can’t put anything off until the last minute. It will only throw everything else off.
Decide on a Menu
Now that you know who is all coming to Thanksgiving dinner, you need to decide on a menu that will satisfy everyone. Before you do that, get with your confirmed guests and decide whether or not you will be responsible for cooking the entire meal yourself or, alternatively, you’ll be responsible solely for cooking the main course while your guests provide the sides. Whatever you decide, make sure that the entire meal is well-rounded and checks all the boxes from start to finish.
We do recommend adding at least a couple of food options for people that have a special diet so they can feel included. Remember, as a host, your first priority is to make your guests feel welcomed and included.
Start Collecting Your Supplies Right Away
Right now, you should have your final RSVPs and your menu finalized. So, what’s next? It’s time to start getting your cooking, decorating, and homeware supplies that you need in check. You’re going to want to get everything you’ll need together pretty quickly so you won’t have to scramble at the last minute. We recommend getting all of your supplies no later than one week before the day before Thanksgiving. That way, you’ll beat the Thanksgiving rush and be significantly less stressed as the big day approaches.
Find the Perfect Decor Pieces to Set the Mood
Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food – it’s also about the atmosphere you create with your table settings and overall home decor. When you’re putting your party together, think about the whole event from top to bottom. What do you want your centerpiece to look like? What music will help set the mood? Which rooms will your guests naturally flow into throughout the day and into the evening? It’s important to think about all of these questions and get the appropriate decor items, like a gorgeous floor lamp to help with mood lighting or some comfy throw pillows for your couch, to complete your home.
Recruit a Helping Hand For the Big Day
Lastly, but maybe most importantly of all, don’t think you have to do everything by yourself. Starting a couple of days before Thanksgiving, recruit a person or two to start helping you set up for dinner. This will include cleaning, prepping food, decorating, and getting any last-minute items (we know that we told you to get everything early, but nobody’s perfect!) If you have help, you’ll be significantly less stressed on the day, which will only make the entire day go even more smoothly.
Thanksgiving is a great holiday that is full of cheer. Make yours the best on yet by following our five easy tips above. Tag @joybird and #joybird on Instagram to show us your favorite Thanksgiving decor items!