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Tips For Hosting Thanksgiving for the First Time

Tips For Hosting Thanksgiving for the First Time

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With November in full swing and Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I am sharing a few useful tips if you are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time.

The very first Holiday dinner I hosted was the Christmas dinner of 2009. It was in our small apartment.

I’d only been married for two weeks, and I felt special that a few family members trusted me with one of the most important dinners of the year.

I took all the help I could, making planning the biggest dinner of my life feel less stressful.

As a seasoned hostess, I am sharing a few small but meaningful tips to help make your hosting successful.

Tips For Hosting Thanksgiving for the First Time

Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

Plan Ahead when hosting Thanksgiving

When planning Thanksgiving, the first tip I have to offer is really a no-brainer but worth a reminder.

You can relieve much of the stress of preparing dinner and hosting guests for what some consider the most important meal of the year by having a well-thought-out plan and sticking to it.

Thoroughly plan your menu, shopping trips, guest list, and other miscellaneous details.

Make a Menu

I can’t stress enough how important creating and planning a menu is, as so much of your hosting plan will depend on this. Having your menu planned will allow you to be best prepared for hosting.

Use your menu to thoroughly plan your shopping and avoid the stress of making last-minute trips to the grocery store.

Ask for Help

Don’t try to do it all yourself. It took many years for me to learn this. There is no need to carry the load alone.

Allow friends and family members to bring their favorite dishes or help clean after dinner. This will ease the burden on you and make your guests feel more involved in the celebration.

Set the Mood with these Small Details

Light some candles and welcome your guests to a fresh and pleasant home. Also, make a playlist ahead of time to play as guests arrive. This will add a certain ambiance that your guests are sure to appreciate.

Make Life Easier with an Electric Carver

Have an electric carver knife on hand to make carving the turkey a breeze. If you know how to locate a turkey’s ball socket joint and keel bone in no time, then you might be some kind of turkey carving pro.

Otherwise, use an electric knife to cut the turkey before and display a beautifully carved turkey for your guests to enjoy.

Empty Your Dishwasher Before Guests Arrive

Having your dishwasher emptied and ready to be loaded will help keep down the clutter in the kitchen and make cleanup a bit easier.

Make a Statement with Simple White Dishes

Using all-white serving ware helps everything look crisp and uniform. This detail can make your dinner feel much more thought-out and put together.

Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

Maximize Space with Tiered Trays

Use a tiered tray to display desserts and other small food items. Tiered trays help maximize space and are a great way to display foods.

Relax and Snap a Few Candid Pictures of Your Guests

I know this tip seems quite random, but make time for this. I love to gift photo books to my parents, and they usually find it really special when they spot a photo of themselves that they don’t remember posing for.

A picture of them playing with a grandchild or talking with a loved one. Take advantage of having a group of your closest loved ones gathered and capture a few pictures. They’ll be treasured down the road.

Build Your Stash of Hosting Dishes 

Don’t overdo it here, but add a few Thanksgiving-themed novelties here and there. It may be a turkey-shaped salt shaker or leaf-shaped spoon rest. 

Bonus Tip: Take advantage of after-season markdowns if you think you’ll likely host Thanksgiving or holiday dinners annually.

After Thanksgiving, stock up on fall-themed napkin rings, serving dishes, and other accessories. This is how you can build a collection of seasonal-themed dishes and decor for a fraction of the cost.

Go For Fresh Cranberry Sauce

While I understand serving a store-bought dish occasionally, I can’t encourage anyone to serve canned cranberry sauce. 

Fresh-made Cranberry Sauce is so simple to make and tastes far better than the gel-like stuff in a can.  Make it fresh and impress your guests.

How to Host Thanksgiving Dinner for the first time

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  1. Christie says:

    Your blog is so cute and I love the tips on Thanksgiving. Can’t wait for it to get here. Thanks for sharing!

  2. These are great tips! I love your blog.

  3. I’m hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year! Thanks for this 🙂