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Tips For Hosting Thanksgiving for the First Time

Tips For Hosting Thanksgiving for the First Time

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Happy Sunday! With November in full swing and Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I am sharing a few tips for hosting a successful Thanksgiving for the first time.

The first Holiday dinner I hosted was the Christmas dinner of 2009. I was in our small apartment. We’d been married for only two weeks, and I felt special that a few family members trusted me with the job. I took all the help offered to me, and planning the day became less stressful.

Tips For Hosting Thanksgiving for the First Time

If you’re hunting Pinterest in search of tips on hosting Thanksgiving dinner, the most useful tip you’ll find is to accept help. Let someone make a dish, delegate a task to your husband, and share the load. I have listed a few other tips below that I hope you will find useful.

Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

Plan Ahead

A no-brainer but worth a reminder. Relieve the stress of preparing and hosting what some consider the most important meal of the year by having a plan and sticking to it. Plan your menu, shopping trips, guest list, and other miscellaneous details.

Set the Mood with these Small Details

Light some scented candles and welcome your guests to a pleasant-smelling home. Also, make a playlist ahead of time to play as guests arrive.

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 the ball socket joint and keel bone of a turkey 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 Guest 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 that 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 Seasonal Decor 

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


Tuesday 6th of November 2018

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


Tuesday 6th of November 2018

Thanks for the kind compliment, Christie. Hope you have a lovely holiday season.

Sandra Serrano

Tuesday 6th of November 2018

These are great tips! I love your blog.


Tuesday 6th of November 2018

Thanks, Sandra!

Kristin Quinn

Monday 5th of November 2018

I'm hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year! Thanks for this :-)