How to Host a Successful Family Thanksgiving
The holidays should be a time of excitement, joy, and togetherness. However, people oftentimes feel stressed about the celebrations, especially when hosting at your own home. Here are a few fail-safe tips to help you feel calm, cool, and collected, so that you may experience such joyful occasions feeling nothing but joy!
1. Make a Plan
You’re less inclined to feel frazzled if you know (almost) exactly how the day is going to go down and do your best to make and stick to a plan. Don’t know where to start? Grab a pen and paper, and make a list of how you picture your ideal day. For example: Guest arrival, drinks and appetizers for 30 minutes, dinner promptly at 5pm, dessert + coffee at 630, etc. Now keep in mind the day may not actually run this way, but listing it will give you a good idea of where to start, plus it will help keep things realistic based on cooking times, football-watching stragglers, travel traffic, and more.
2. Create a Menu
Now that you have an idea of your festivities and activities, plan your menu accordingly. Once you’ve done this, review cooking times and adjust your day-of plan accordingly, then compile ingredient lists for each item in order to make your holiday shopping a breeze.
3. Say “Yes” to Help
Your mom wants to bring one of the dishes? Sure! Your sister asks if she can stop by the store on the way over and asks what you need? Give her a small list if needed! Perhaps someone simply offers to stop by early to help setup… this is a blessing! There is no better way to beat the holiday hosting overwhelm than to divide and conquer.
4. Set Expectations of Guests
This one may sound harsh, but it’s truly necessary, especially if you have a large family, people coming from out of town, etc. Ensure your guests RSVP for your dinner. Be clear about the time you’d like them to arrive. You’ve put hours, money, and more into ensuring everyone has a nice time, and (barring illness, emergencies, and more, of course) it’s only fair that those who have committed to attending show up.
While we can’t guarantee that everyone will get along, we can guarantee that you, your family, and friends will appreciate the thought and care that have been put into the day. More importantly, you will be able to enjoy the day instead of stressing about something that “forgot” to get done since you have a solid plan in place!
So let’s hear it! Small family gathering, friends only, or eating out… how do you prefer to spend your holidays?