If you’ll be hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your home this year, you’ve already extended the invitation to family and friends and are busy planning your menu. Making the most of your holiday gathering involves more than serving your famous herb roasted turkey, you must also be sure to be a gracious Thanksgiving host.
I’ve put together a Thanksgiving checklist for each element of the day to ensure you and your home are ready.
Thanksgiving Menu Planning:
- Remember to contact your guests to confirm and check on dietary restrictions.
- Get creative with your menu! Go through your favorite recipes and a few new sources for inspiration. Holiday cooking magazines have wonderful and easy to make ideas.
- When planning the menu, include appetizers, soup, the main course, multiple side dish vegetables, an elegant salad and (of course) dessert.
- Place the order for your turkey or ham. Make sure your oven is large enough to fit a big “bird.”
- Don’t hesitate to hire a great caterer if you aren’t comfortable preparing Thanksgiving dinner yourself. Or, ask your sister or Aunt Margaret for a helping hand in advance.
- A few carefully selected wines add to the festive day.
- Once you’ve finalized your menu, print off a beautiful menu card and individual place cards.
Your Thanksgiving Table:
- Take inventory of your linens. Check to see if there are repairs or replacements needed.
- Ensure adequate seating. Do you have enough tables and chairs?
- Select your Thanksgiving dishes and glassware. Use what you have, and if you find yourself in pinch, don’t be afraid to use plastic and disposable (except for wine glasses).
- The same goes for dessert plates, napkins, cake plates, serving trays, coffee cups and saucers.
- Test run a few different centerpiece ideas before the day arrives. Something chic and simple, leaving plenty of room for multiple dishes, glassware, utensils and serving pieces.
- Purchase extra bags of ice if you’re expecting a full house.
In Your Kitchen:
- A sturdy roasting pan
- Turkey baster
- Large mixing bowls
- Serving bowls
- Large serving utensils
- Ladle for gravy
- Bread basket
- Wax paper, foil
- Electric knife
- Cutting board
- Trivets and hot pads
- Pot holders
- Serving platters – multiple
- Gravy bowl and saucer
- Coffee pot
- Sugar and creamer
- Beverage napkins
- Wine opener
Your Thanksgiving Home:
- A few hours before guests arrive, light your candles, put on your playlist, check your flower arrangements and enter your home as if you were a guest, giving a final look at your special details.
- Remember to check your restroom for toilet paper and hand towels. Display a touch of fall color in a simple bud vase.
- Is your coat closet company-ready? Make room if needed!
- Designate an area for umbrellas and snow shoes to avoid a wet mess.
- Create a place for the kids (and teens!) to relax and play games while adults are socializing.
Allowing yourself ample time to prepare will help to put your mind at ease and give you the freedom to enjoy the day as a gracious Thanksgiving host.