Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family, eat great homemade food, and have fun with your own traditions. But sometimes the host can feel overwhelmed with the thought of entertaining others. Follow these tips to get rid of these anxious feelings and enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday as much as your guests.
Assign Everyone a Job
In the weeks before Thanksgiving, be sure to send out an email to friends and families who will be attending with a list of foods, drinks, etc. that are needed for the party. This way, everyone can pick what they want to bring and you won’t be expected to fix an entire dinner yourself. Get the kids involved too! They may not all be able to cook, but they’re capable of cleaning. After dinner, have the little ones help with the dishes or clearing tables. The more hands that help, the quicker the clean up process.
Make a Thanksgiving Soundtrack
Great music makes a great party. Make a mix of your favorite songs, along with some of your guests favorites. It might even be acceptable to sneak in a few Christmas tunes!
Thanksgiving decorations don’t need to empty your wallet. Make your own! Use small pumpkins for seating arrangements, place pretty pine cones and fall leaves in glass vases around the house or use them to construct a homemade wreath for the front door. Keep Halloween decorations such as pumpkins and hay stacks to use as outdoor decorations, since these items are seasonal and add to the Thanksgiving theme.
Keep the Old Traditions but Try Something New
Everyone loves Mom-Mom’s legendary mashed potatoes, but try adding something new to the menu too. This way, everyone’s favorite dishes are still on the table but there are also new options for people to try that might just show up at next year’s Thanksgiving! Research a fun fall recipe or borrow one from a friend. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous.
Playing games always gets people involved and they are a great way to take a dinner party to the next level. Whether it be through cards, a board game, a classic game of backyard football, or an interactive video game, they’re sure to bring out the laughs (and maybe some people’s competitive side). Plus, they can be enjoyed by guests of all ages.
At the end of the night, over delicious dessert and coffee, have everyone sit together and say what they’re thankful for. Hearing everyone’s responses will make the craziness of planning a party worthwhile and will be a reminder of what Thanksgiving is really about. Put a twist on this tradition by putting everyone’s name in a hat. Pass the hat around and whatever name you pull out, explain why you’re thankful to have that person in your life. Feeling appreciated is one of the best things that one could be thankful for.