7 Simple Secrets to Rock Thanksgiving
Because you can have your
and eat it too
“Next year, we’ll make sure to…”
Doesn’t it seem like every Thanksgiving-hosting gig ends up with those famous few words?
Thankfully, you’ll be well prepared for the (totally worth it) chaos that comes with hosting loved ones this year! We’ve prepared the list of all lists for you, with our 7 star tips to set the table, make the food, and have everything ready with as little stress as possible.
Ready to dive into Thanksgiving hosting best practices? You’ll see, it’s as easy as (pumpkin) pie!
1. Keep the menu on the simple side
Because people come expecting to indulge in their favourite holiday delicacies, your Thanksgiving menu should be fairly simple. The safest route is to give your guests the classics, plain and simple. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, green beans, cranberry sauce,… Making more classic recipes will greatly reduce your stress from the get-go since you probably have an idea of how to prepare most of these already. Even better? You can make plenty of them in advance and warm them up the day of!
2. Choose your serving dishes in advance
You know what you’re making, but what will you serve your dishes in? Well in advance of the gathering, consider how much you’ll make of each thing, depending on your guest count. Then, look at the servingware you have and choose what you’ll use to serve each item. Don’t have enough or want everything to match so your table is as beautiful as can be? Now is the time to buy what you’re missing! Save yourself the headache by labelling every bowl and plate with the name of the dish you’ll serve in it on a Post-It. No puzzle on your end and, if a guest offers help on the day of, they’ll know immediately what goes where. Also count things like wine glasses, coffee cups, napkin rings and other number-specific items before the big day and compare your numbers with your guest list.
3. Set the table and decorate the night before
I don’t remember a gathering at my parents’ house where I haven’t seen my mother up on a stepladder, reaching for mismatched glasses of wine at the very back on her highest cupboard, less than one hour before the guests arrived. Obviously, I’ve been a horrible daughter and have never told her about the 2nd simple secret to rock Thanksgiving!
To make the day of easier on yourself, decorate your space and set the table the night before. Yes, the whole table! Think about it – why would it need to be set in a hurry before your guests arrive, all the while you’re busy preparing food?
Have cats or dogs and are nervous about leaving plates, glasses and linens out overnight? Simply count and prepare all of your items before storing them out of sight. Just in case of accidents or of unexpected guests, keep a few more of every item at the ready. Whatever you do, please, no stepladder on Thanksgiving day!
4. Have extra seating ready
Surprise, Jessica has a new boyfriend! Oh, and your friend Jonathan was going to spend the holiday by himself so you invited him over. Ready for extra company? By outfitting your home with extra seating, like cute ottomans you can easily tuck away, everyone will have a place to sit and gobble down the turkey!
5. Create a separate area for food and drinks
The table gets full, and fast! To ensure it’s not overcrowded, create an area where you’ll set down bottles of wine, cartons of juice and any food item that’s not currently being eaten. I’m certain you’ll want to show off that gorgeous pumpkin pie without having it take space on the table! By keeping drinks away from the main eating area, you’ll also most likely avoid spills, which could mess up your gorgeous table setting.
6. Prepare vegetarian/vegan and non-alcoholic options
Just because everyone technically eats meat or technically drinks alcohol, doesn’t mean people they’re always in the mood. Show them you care by preparing different options. In my experience, vegetarian options tend to go just as fast as those filled with meat, and non-alcoholic drinks are very popular when people arrive, before they sit down to dinner with a glass of vino.
7. Have fun!
Yes, you’re hosting, but that doesn’t mean the party’s just for your guests! Do yourself a favour and step out of the kitchen once everything is under control. Mingle, laugh and enjoy the celebration you so carefully organized. Your guests are so lucky to have you there, they should get to enjoy your company!
Ready for Thanksgiving?
What are your simple secrets when hosting?
Share them with us using #bouclair on Instagram!