With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to get into hosting mode! If you are hosting Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving for the first time or you’ve done it a million times, 10 Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving can sure come in handy! Practical tips for not only surviving hosting the holiday, but thriving. Let’s GO.
10 Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving
- Get all of your big house projects out of the way a couple weeks in advance. That spare room you’ve been stockpiling things in for the past year that’s on your cleaning list? Get it done! The last thing you need to worry about the day of is if a project got completed or not (i.e. if your husband finished the last minute cleaning project you assigned him haha). Cleaning the blinds were on my do-ahead list this year.
- Inventory your cookware in advance. You don’t want the moment to come where you are ready to check the temperature of your turkey to see if it’s done and you can’t find your thermometer ANYWHERE. We’ve all been there. Make sure you have everything you need! From roasting pans, a thermometer, a baster to a sharp carving knife. Take inventory now so you have time to run to the store or order what you need. Check out my Shop Page for my kitchen essentials!
- Stock your pantry and refrigerator ahead of time. That way, when you make your final grocery store run, you don’t have to worry about loading down with bags of flour, sugar, or jugs of milk. You can focus on other ingredients like a turkey and maybe some fresh herbs. Items I always keep in stock: flour, sugar, brown sugar, milk, heavy cream, chicken stock, salt, pepper, spices, oil and butter. You never know what you will need!
- Plan your menu in advance. This will give you plenty of time to figure out the logistics. Will you need to test a new recipe you want to try before hand? Are there items that you can make a day or so in advance? Don’t forget to check out my 2019 Thanksgiving Menu or my 2020 Thanksgiving Menu! This also leads me into my next point…
- DELEGATE. That’s right, you don’t have to do it all! Unless you are running full-speed ahead on hosting and preparing the entire event by yourself, then all the power to you! Otherwise, it’s ok to delegate! Since you have your menu planned in advance, you can be specific about what you want people to bring. Know exactly who is bringing what. That way, if Sally decides to be a no-show, you know you will be short a green bean casserole. Being specific about your delegations also helps your guests not to have to wonder what to bring. For instance, I usually have a Facebook group where I post what I am making and providing, then post a list for what is up for grabs for other people to bring. They can then pick what they would like to sign up for!
6. Schedule your oven space. When it comes down to it at the end of the day of hosting Thanksgiving, oven space or keeping things warm seems to be the biggest challenge. Especially if you are roasting your turkey in the same oven that you need to bake a green bean casserole, keep a sweet potato casserole warm in and oh my goodness the stuffing too! You will only be able to do this properly if you have your menu planned in advance. Create a timed schedule for how long things need to cook and at what temperature so you know exactly how the day is going to go. You might also find that you may need a couple slow cookers to keep things warm for you instead of the oven. It may sound silly, but scheduling your oven will reduce a lot of stress the day of!
7. Have a space for everything. In my experience, guests come in excited for all the wonderful smells and chatting with friends and you get handed a casserole dish that is wrapped in foil then wrapped in a towel to keep warm. Raise your hand if you know what I’m talking about! Make sure you have designated counter space/table space for guests to put their dishes they bring. Also have a place for miscellaneous things, such as towels that keep dishes warm. You don’t want them to end up pushed up against the backsplash behind the dish. Trust me.
8. Use paper plates. Unless you are dead-set on setting a Thanksgiving table and it sparks joy for you, use paper plates. That way, you don’t have loads of dishes to do at the end of the day! Speaking of dishes…
9. Have an empty dishwasher ready to go. There’s been far too many times on my end where dishes are piling up from cooking and guests taking things over to the sink and I have a clean dishwasher to unload before I can do anything about it. Making sure your dishwasher is empty and ready to roll is a simple thing that can make your life a WHOLE lot easier. Then your guests also won’t feel obligated to help you with dishes. Win win.
10. Last but not least, have some frozen pizzas ready to go in the freezer. Girl, it’s been a long day! You never know whats going to happen! (insert all the laughing/crying face emojis here) No shame in being prepared for anything. If all else fails, whip out those frozen pizzas like a boss and have a good laugh about it.
Hosting Thanksgiving can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Following these 10 simple steps can sure make your life a little bit easier the day of! At the end of the day, just remember you are a freaking unicorn who smells like gumdrops and fairy blossoms and ROCKS at hosting Thanksgiving. Mic drop.
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