Thanksgiving is right around the corner and, if done right, can be one of the year's best holidays. With all of the delicious food, the gathering of loved ones, and the entertainment (football and Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade), it's a recipe for success.
However, having the perfect Thanksgiving Day requires a little planning and effort for both the host and the guests. Below are a few tips and tricks to ensure your Thanksgiving Day goes off without a hitch!
1. Make a Plan
Hosting people for any occasion is a big commitment, but doing so for the biggest meal of the year is a whole new ball game and not something that can be done without a little pre-planning. Below are some good questions to consider for the big day.
Do you have a dining space big enough for all your guests, and if not, what are your alternatives?
What time do you want to have everyone over? What time works best for your guests, lunch or dinner?
What dishes do you want to serve? Do any of your guests have allergies or dietary preferences?
2. Shop Early
When planning for your Thanksgiving meal, don't forget that everyone else you know is planning too, so if you wait too late, the ingredients you want may be out of stock. Try to go to the grocery store ahead of time if you can so that you can stick to your meal plan and get all of the things on your list. Don't forget to add paper and plastic utensils if you don't have dinnerware for all your guests, as well as drinks and cups!
3. Enjoy Yourself
There are always so many little things that go into hosting a big event like Thanksgiving dinner that it can be hard to stop and be present in the moment. Although there's work to be done, and you may feel like you've got to be constantly running around to get everything done, make sure you try to enjoy yourself. Remember, your guests come to your Thanksgiving meal because they want to spend time with you, so try to make that your top priority.
1. Offer to contribute
Your host will typically be juggling a lot of things on Thanksgiving Day, so offering to contribute a side dish, dessert, or drink is always helpful.
2. Offer to Help
Always offer to help finish up the last-minute details once you arrive. If your host is still working in the kitchen, see if you can help serve an appetizer or pour other guests a glass of water. Taking even the tiniest of tasks off your host's hands will be a big help and allow them to devote their attention to finalizing their last few tasks.
3. Offer to Clean Up
Although it's one of the most dreaded tasks of the Thanksgiving meal, always offer to help clean up. Your host is probably exhausted from the stress of planning, prepping, cooking, and hosting, and knowing that once it's all over, there is still the cleanup... phew!
4. Show Your Appreciation
Always show your host how much you appreciate them for having you and all the hard work that went into the occasion. We all enjoy a sincere "thank you," but if you really want to show your gratitude, you could always bring a small gift or send a thank you card afterward.
Whether you're the host or guest this Thanksgiving, fulfill your role with sincerity and take the time to reflect on everything you have to be thankful for.