Are you ready to host a Thanksgiving dinner?
There’s nothing better than gathering with your friends and family around the table for a classic holiday meal. The thought of hosting for the first time makes most people both excited and a bit overwhelmed. Here are our top tips for hosting the perfect Thanksgiving meal with as little stress as possible.
The best way to prevent your Thanksgiving day from being stressful is to prepare well. Two to four weeks before Thanksgiving is the perfect time to finalize your guest list, send out invitations, and plan out the menu.
There’s no need to cook all of the food yourself (unless you want to). Decide what you want to make and then divy up the rest of the menu amongst your guests to take the stress off of yourself. Use an online program like Google Sheets to make it easier to share and organize the menu.
Plan for success
Speaking of the menu, just how much food will you need? Make sure you won’t run out of turkey this year by calculating the perfect turkey-to-person ratio. For each person attending, you’ll need approximately 1.25 pounds of turkey. So if you’re having ten dinner guests, you’ll need to bake about 13 pounds of turkey. However, don’t forget that children usually eat less than adults and some people may have dietary restrictions and won’t eat meat.
If you need more than 15 pounds of turkey, consider cooking two smaller birds instead of one large turkey in order to insure that it finishes in time. No one wants to cut into their dinner and discover that it’s not fully cooked!
If you want to serve a specialty turkey like a heritage, pre-smoked, or organic bird, make sure to get your order in early. Some suppliers sell out of their most popular selections and some simply take a long time to ship.
Set the mood
Adding some festive candles, music, and decor will make your home feel like holiday central. Choosing a color scheme can also help your space look more cohesive. Traditional fall colors are orange and red, but don’t be afraid to mix things up with more modern colors. Seasonal produce like pumpkins, gourds, and rustic corn make for excellent decor.
If your current home layout isn’t great for a large group, try moving around your furniture for the day. If your kitchen is separated from the rest of your house, add some extra seating in it so that you can be with your guests while cooking.
Set the table
Setting the Thanksgiving table is one of the most exciting parts of the day. This is the perfect time to pull out your best china and that forgotten gravy boat on your shelves.
Many people love setting a formal table with cloth napkins, nice glasses, and some fresh flowers in a vase, but fancy place settings aren’t the only way to make the holiday special. If table settings aren’t your strong suit, opt for an easier spread by using festive paper plates. Remember, it’s about being together with family and friends.
Details like place cards are a great way to add a personalized touch and make your holiday guests feel welcomed. You can use paper place cards or something more unique like pumpkins for a fun twist.
Set some ground rules
We all have that crazy relative who likes to stir up the conversation with less than comfortable topics. To keep your holiday light and enjoyable, consider asking your guests to refrain from talking about certain topics that only cause arguments. After all, this holiday is all about spending quality time with those closest to us.
Create a phone drop-spot where your guests can deposit their phones before the meal, and set out some puzzles and games that you can do together. For children, some holiday-themed coloring pages will help them stay occupied until the turkey’s ready.
Come home for the holidays
At Better Homes and Garden Real Estate – Steinborn & Associates, we can help you find the perfect home for hosting Thanksgiving dinners for years to come. We know that your home isn’t just the place you live, it’s the place where memories are made.