Hosting Thanksgiving dinner, even for a small group, can be a nerve-wracking experience. How much food should you buy? What should you buy pre-made, and what should be made from scratch? How much time should you set aside? How do you avoid running out of food without being saddled with tons of leftovers? We’ll admit that it’s not easy, but we’ve assembled 13 tips to keep in mind as you plan your feast.
Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is a lot more complicated than just throwing a dinner party. Instead of coming up with your own menu based on your skill level (spaghetti and garlic bread!), you have to stick to a specific set of guidelines and serve more or less a set menu: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, pies, and usually a few extra appetizers and side dishes. It can be enough to make even a seasoned dinner party host’s head spin.
The absolute most important thing to do in this situation is to plan ahead. If you start your Thanksgiving planning a week in advance, you’ll have more than enough time to have a clear head and a fully stocked fridge come Turkey Day. It’s also important to realize that you don’t need to go overboard. Nobody’s going to panic if there’s no deviled eggs, and if you’re completely in over your head, don’t be afraid to ask your guests to ease your burden by bringing some dishes of their own.
Thanksgiving should be a time to sit down with loved ones over a bountiful dinner and give thanks for all the good things in our lives. And even if you’re hosting, you should be able to enjoy the day and meal just as much as your guests. So plan ahead, pay attention to these 13 tips, and you’ll be just fine.