Hosting Thanksgiving Essentials

Hosting Thanksgiving in your new home can be one of the most exciting times of the year and perfect kick off to the holiday season. Here are some helpful tips to maintain your sanity and make you look like the ‘hostess with the mostest’ this Thanksgiving!

 Number One: Lists are your friend

Making a list and checking it twice (even at Thanksgiving) will be your biggest helper. Know that everyone in your town will be heading to the grocery store to shop for the same things. Beat them to it! Grocery shop early for the big Thanksgiving items to ensure you aren’t left out. Nothing will throw you off the day before hosting like waiting in line at the grocery store and worried you’re missing an important items for a dish. Making a list of your menu is not a bad idea either. You can print out recipes or key ingredients to ensure they’re in your kitchen.

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Number 2: Let Others Contribute

While leading into the Holiday you have all the aspirations to run Thanksgiving as your own show. Do not be afraid to ask for help! Letting others contribute can take the stress of the day off of yourself and even better your menu. Allow others to bring easy things like drinks, ice, or paper products if you want to handle the food. Having an assortment of desserts never hurt anyone either! You may be the host but others can show off their favorite dish as well.

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 Number 3: Prepare your home: Decorate & Enjoy!

Hosting Thanksgiving can be stressful, take some time before the crowd arrives, decorate with a smile and prepare! Preparing ahead of time will take the stress away the day and even week of the holiday. Make sure you home has things like paper towels, plenty of napkins, garbage bags and toilet paper for your guests. Decorating is the fun part! Keep those mums and pumpkins around from Halloween to use as centerpieces. Making cute labels for food can even fancy up your counter tops for serving. Since you may be in a new home don’t forget to unpack and wash those pretty dishes you’ve been waiting on a special occasion to use! All of these things can be done ahead of time and make the day of feel like a breeze.

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 Number 4: Cook early

Making a great Thanksgiving feast has several components. Leading up to Thanksgiving check your menu to see what you can prepare early, even week of or day before to assist you in maintaining the chaos. Baking cookies or pies, peeling potatoes, or preparing a casserole that will just need to be heated are all things that can help you take away the stress and feel ready to go on Thanksgiving Day. Who knows, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of the Macy’s Parade.  

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Number 5: Be Prepared for Leftovers

With your mind completely consumed with the menu and preparing the food you have not even made it to the cleanup process yet. Make it easy on yourself and let your guests take home all the leftovers they want! After all, with a week of cooking you’ll be sick of turkey by Black Friday. Buy extra plastic containers you do not mind giving away or storage bags to send your guests home with the food. This will make your cleanup easy and your refrigerator finally empty!

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Number 6: Start your own tradition

This may be your first but not your last time hosting Thanksgiving, especially in your new home. Begin a new tradition your guests can look forward to for years to come! Traditions don’t always have to be something difficult. A fun idea is to get a paper tablecloth for your guests to sign and serve as a reminder who you shared the special holiday with for future holidays. Traditions also do not have to be something in the home.

Try a Turkey Trot 5K in your city – see this list for the top 30 Thanksgiving Turkey Trots all around the country and find one near you! If you are in Columbia, SC check out our local Turkey Trot right downtown starting at the Colonial Life Arena!

Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Dog Show- Running on Thanksgiving morning may not be your cup of tea so make your way to the couch and enjoy the popular Thanksgiving Day Parade with sounds of the holidays, fun floats of your favorite characters and concerts!

Volunteer with family at a local soup kitchen or food bank– after all it is the season of giving!

Take a family trip! – Just because family might be near or far does not mean they have to meet at someone’s home to celebrate the holidays. If you have guests already traveling by plane why not go somewhere fun or even tropical to enjoy the holiday? Choose a central location or a new place to explore and enjoy the holiday together.

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