Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, or are a seasoned veteran, these tips will help to make your holiday a success!
Tip #1: Invite Early
The key to a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner (or anything really) is to plan ahead. Once you commit yourself to hosting, the first thing you need to do is invite the family and friends you would like to attend. Knowing early on how many people will be attending and their food restrictions will help when preparing the menu and ensuring your home is ready to accommodate a certain amount of guests.
Tip #2: Plan Your Thanksgiving Recipes
If you’ve never hosted Thanksgiving dinner before, or are looking for some new and fresh recipes to satisfy food allergies and restrictions, the internet is your first stop. Check out sites like Food.com or Epicurious. You will find everything from traditional green bean casserole, to new twists on yams or broccoli.
Once you have your menu decided, start watching your local grocery store for sales on the items you need. Most of the ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner go on sale 2-3 weeks before the actual holiday, so stock up early to save! Having your recipes planned out in advance will also help for when invited guests ask what they can bring. If you think you are short an appetizer or dessert they can fill in the gaps.
Tip #3: Cook in Advance
If you are a glutton for punishment then you will cook everything for Thanksgiving dinner on the day of the meal, but please know that it’s so not necessary. Pre-make your casseroles and desserts and on the holiday, pop them in the oven. This will give you enough time to tidy the house, clean out the cat litter and be showered and ready by the time the first guest arrives. Obviously some things can’t be cooked early, like the turkey, but almost everything else in the meal can be prepped and ready to just pop on the stovetop or into the oven.
While it may seem intimidating to host Thanksgiving dinner, armed with these tips and a little planning, it’s easier than you think. Above all, enjoy the moments with family and friends and even if you mess up the turkey…there’s always Christmas dinner to redeem yourself!