Have you ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner? With lots of people, lots of dishes and lots of decor involved, it takes a whole lot of preparation to pull off the perfect, cozy-feeling and belly-filling Thanksgiving Dinner.
If it's your first time hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner, or you're just looking for tips to spruce up your usual routine, read on for our best tips for hosting the Thanksgiving Dinner of your dreams.
Plan the Menu
Thanksgiving Dinner is no small feat and a lot of cooking for one person. Guests will likely expect turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, dessert...the list goes on! Plan with your guests who's cooking what and who's bringing what. If homemade is not your route of choice this year, there's lots of great places in the Halifax area where you can pick up Thanksgiving Dinner to go!
Set the Table in Advance
A festive, stylish tablescape sets the mood for the dinner. So gather the gourds and garlands of Fall coloured leaves and arrange them to compliment the placesettings.
If you have the space in your home to eat elsewhere during the days leading up to the soiree, set the table for the Thanksgiving feast a day or two in advance to have one less thing to do when the big day arrives.
Plan Seating Arrangements
Having more people than usual over for dinner often means you'll need more seating than usual. If your regular dinner table will seat everyone, that's great! If not, dig up a few folding tables and chairs or borrow them from friends. Another option is to rent tables and chairs from a local event rental store.
Now that you know you'll have enough seating, think about how you seat your guests so that everyone's happy. Will all the kids eat together at a separate kids table? Or will some kids need help from a parent or guardian to eat? Will one of your guests need more room to get up and down from their seat and thus should be seated at a table end? Think of the needs of each guest and plan accordingly.
Give Your Guests Things to Do
You don't want your guests to arrive and immediately start buzzing about the kitchen with nothing to do as you put the finishing touches on the feast. Prepare some fun fall activities for your guests to entertain themselves before dinner begins. Make space for yard games like flag football or washer toss for your loved ones to enjoy, or print out Thanksgiving themed colouring pages or word searches for the kids.
Share What You're Thankful For
What's Thanksgiving without the obligatory go-around-the-table-and-share-what-you're-grateful-for thing? It can seem cheesy, but there are so many benefits to practicing gratitude, and if there's any day to do it, it's Thanksgiving Day. If you have people in your life you love, food on the table and a roof over your head, you have plenty to be grateful for!
When it all comes down to it, hosting the "perfect" turkey dinner isn't what Thanksgiving's really about. All the perfectly arranged gourds and perfectly prepared cranberry sauce in the world can never compare to the precious memories with you'll be making with your loved ones. So amongst all your hosting to-dos, remember to sit back and be present with your loved ones this Thanksgiving dinner.
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