A lot of details are involved when it comes to hosting a Thanksgiving Day celebration. Not only will you need to shop for lots of food but you will also need to prepare your home for guests. This means you shouldn’t wait until the day before to begin making preparations!
Keep in mind that the entire nation will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day and everybody will be vying for many of the same foods. Also, if you are in charge of making arrangements for transportation or hotel accommodations for your guests you should know that making these arrangements as early as possible will help ensure successful planning.
With Thanksgiving Day only days away there is no time to waste. The first step is learning how many people you will be feeding. Of course, since this is a major holiday it is typical to run into snafus or for extra guests to show up – so plan for the unexpected – plan on the safe side of things. It is better to have too much food than not enough!
If you don’t have your food items on hand or ordered already you should tend to that as soon as possible. Most supermarkets (and some restaurants) now offer a service where they will pre-cook your turkey or even the complete meal for you. This relieves you of much of the work and hassle on Thanksgiving Day. In most cases you simply finish the cooking process and your meal is ready to eat in a couple of hours.
Doing It All Yourself
Whether your turkey is prepared by someone else or not, you will still need to have all the traditional Thanksgiving Day trimmings. This will include everything from appetizers to side dishes, drinks, and desserts. With so much to do it is important to plan your menu ahead of time.
Although some people like to ‘do it all’ others prefer to have each guest pitch in. That is, each guest or family that is attending may bring a special dish. In this way each person feels more invested in the Thanksgiving Day meal – and in a way, this is more like the first Thanksgiving – different people coming together and contributing their part to make the meal special. It’s a great tradition!
There are even roles for those that don’t cook – they can contribute things like napkins, soft drinks, a jar of olives, etc. The point is to make everyone a part of ‘the meal preparation’.
Preparing Your Home
Of course you will want to have your home clean and organized before guests arrive. And if guests will be staying overnight in your home you will also need to plan appropriate sleeping arrangements.
Another concern is seating space. While it is not absolutely necessary that everyone be seated at a table to eat, it is important to have enough chair space available for everyone. If necessary you may want to check into buying or renting fold-up tables and chairs to use for the day.
At the end of the day you may find you have lots of extra food. If that is the case most guests will be happy to take home some leftovers. And of course, you can also freeze some of the leftovers to save for another day.
Planning ahead is definitely the best way to ensure a successful Thanksgiving Day celebration –but get in gear – time is running out!
Debbie Allen is a freelance writer that shares tips about holiday traditions like writing letters to Santa and celebrating Thanksgiving in style!