Thanksgiving is a quintessential American holiday and a peak travel time, where thousands of Americans flock to a relative’s home to eat dinner and spend time together. Hosting Thanksgiving for the first time in a new home can be stressful and overwhelming. With so much to do, it can be difficult for first-time Thanksgiving hosts to know where to start.
Here’s a few simple tips to help ensure your success as you host your home’s first Thanksgiving this holiday season.
Being the host doesn’t mean you have to prepare every single dish that will be on the table this year. Thanksgiving is often a collaborative gathering, so allow your family and friends to bring things to make hosting a little less stressful for you.
Cook In Advance
The most overwhelming part of being a host is having to rush to prepare every dish on the day of the event. One of the best ways to prepare ahead is to create a menu with dishes you can make the day before Thanksgiving. Even if you can’t prepare an entire dish ahead of time, searching for ways you can complete certain steps of the meal-prep process a day before your guests arrive can help lighten your workload on Thanksgiving day.
Begin Setting Up Early
In addition to getting the food prepped, hosts are responsible for ensuring that there are enough clean napkins, serving plates, dishes, and silverware to accommodate all their guests. Prepare by spreading out your prep tasks, such as vacuuming the floors, ironing tablecloths, cleaning placemats, counting napkins, and washing and drying dishes, throughout the week before Thanksgiving. Spreading out these tasks not only make hosting less stressful, it will also give you the opportunity to double check that you have everything you need and stock up on anything before the big day.
Set Your Table the Night Before
The last thing you need to worry about on Thanksgiving day is setting the table. Prepare it the night before so you can devote your full concentration to ensuring that all appetizers and drinks are ready for consumption prior to your guests’ arrival.
Purchase Parts of Your Meal
It’s perfectly acceptable to buy a few components of your meal, as trying to make everything on your Thanksgiving spread from scratch is often too much work. If there’s something you particularly dislike preparing, get it from a specialty bakery or grocery store.