How To Host Thanksgiving For The First Time Successfully

16/11/2023

If you are a host of Thanksgiving for the first time this year, you’re probably wondering where to start. Hosting Thanksgiving for the first time is a big task, whether you’re hosting three people or 30 because there are so many decisions involved. What is Thanksgiving Day, and how can you make this festival special? Keep these tips and ideas below in mind, you’ll be able to get the details out of the way so that you can enjoy the big day.

What is Thanksgiving Day?

Thanksgiving is an annual national holiday celebrated in both the United States and Canada, dedicated to giving thanks for the blessings of the past year.

In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, as designated by a joint resolution passed by Congress in 1941 and proclaimed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942. Since 1957, Thanksgiving Day has been celebrated in Canada on the second Monday in October.

In both Canada and America, family and friends gather for a meal and other celebrations on Thanksgiving. Traditional fare in America often includes turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. Parades and football games also have long associations with Thanksgiving.

What is Thanksgiving Day?
What is Thanksgiving Day?

8 tips for hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time

What is most important on Thanksgiving Day? Remember, the most important aspect of Thanksgiving is to give thanks! As you sit down for the meal together, take a moment to share what you’re thankful for. It could be the perfectly cooked turkey, good health, or simply the precious time spent together. It’s a lot of pressure when you are a host of a Thanksgiving party at your place for the first time, here’s everything you need for a successful Turkey Day.

Plan ahead

Create a detailed plan for the big event, outlining the seating arrangement, cooking timeline, table layout, necessary kitchen essentials, and more. Thanksgiving is a lot of work and cooking so divide the work into a few things each day, to make the holiday less stressful. Whether you’re taking on the role of planner or host for a Thanksgiving party, the more organized your approach, the less overwhelmed you’ll be.

When making the plan, it’s also important to keep your culinary skills and comfort level in mind. You don’t want to bite more than you can chew, so delegate tasks, if necessary. And if someone volunteers to help you with the shopping or prepping, accept it gladly.

Whether you're taking on the role of planner or host for a Thanksgiving party, the more organized your approach, the less overwhelmed you'll be
Whether you’re taking on the role of planner or host for a Thanksgiving party, the more organized your approach, the less overwhelmed you’ll be

Prepare Thanksgiving menu

Don’t take on too much. Quality over quantity – a few key delicious dishes will always win over an abundance of food. Choose recipes that are uncomplicated and can be made ahead of time. That way you’ll have plenty of time to focus on roasting and carving on Thanksgiving. Also, inquire about any food allergies or dietary restrictions your guests may have, and tailor the menu accordingly. For quick inspiration, explore sơm easy-to-make recipes covering gravy, appetizers, side dishes, desserts, and the Thanksgiving turkey. Next, make a grocery list based on the menu.

Prepare Thanksgiving menu
Prepare Thanksgiving menu

Buy groceries

Buy your groceries three to four days before Thanksgiving to avoid last-minute panic. After finishing your shopping, quickly check your inventory to ensure you have all the necessary ingredients and kitchen tools. If you have a small fridge, enhance your storage capacity by placing perishable items in coolers with ice outside. This way, you can focus on the cooking the day before and on Thanksgiving.

Set the table

Set out plates, silverware, glassware, napkins, candles, platters, serving spoons, and forks a week before the holiday. If it helps, label each platter with a post-it note to make it easier for guests to quickly serve themselves at the holiday feast.

If you use your table daily, set aside everything you need on a counter. Create place cards, choose a Thanksgiving centerpiece, and finalize the seating arrangement and table layout three to four days in advance. If you don’t know where to start, you can check out 20+ Beautiful Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas To Impress Guests.

As for the centerpiece, you can never go wrong with a beautiful flower arrangement. Lay out the table with napkins, glassware, and place cards two days before the day.

As for the centerpiece, you can never go wrong with a beautiful flower arrangement
As for the centerpiece, you can never go wrong with a beautiful flower arrangement

Get your home ready

Start by cleaning up your living room and kitchen. Next, make the beds in each room and cover them with sheet linen protectors, line all the bins with new trash bags, and put fresh towels in the washroom. Also, store bleach pens, cleaning spray, baking soda, and other cleaning tools under the kitchen sink to handle any food-flying and wine-spilling emergencies.

If your guests include children, keep expensive and fragile items, medicine bottles, sharp objects, etc. away from their reach. For the guest bedroom, use fresh bedclothes and place a clean set of towels on the bed. You can also light a few scented candles to make the room more inviting.

For the living room, consider a fall-themed dried flower arrangement, scented tealights, and a few faux pumpkins to create a cozy atmosphere. Finally, complete the festive ambiance by placing a wreath on the front door, and you’re good to go!

Double-check your guest list

Re-check your guest list at least three days ahead of Thanksgiving to avoid any last-minute surprises. Encourage all guests to RSVP and inquire if anyone plans to stay overnight. This way, you can prepare a guest room for them or assist in making alternate arrangements for their stay.

Start cooking

The secret to every great meal is taking the time to prepare so start with cooking or at least the cooking preparation (chopping, mashing, blending, etc.) two days before T-day. Starting early is crucial; after all, there’s no point in including make-ahead dishes on the menu if you don’t make them ahead of time.

Print out all the recipes you’re going to make and place them on the kitchen counter or a recipe stand for easy access. Prepare your appetizers, casseroles, and stuffing and store them in the fridge. For salads, chop the fruits and veggies in advance and refrigerate them along with the dressing, in separate containers. In addition, you can cook turkey gravy a day before and freeze it in an airtight container. It’s also advisable to serve at least one non-alcoholic beverage for kids and non-drinkers.

You can cook turkey gravy a day before and freeze it in an airtight container
You can cook turkey gravy a day before and freeze it in an airtight container

Get up early

On the morning of Thanksgiving, wake up early for holiday cooking and last-minute touch-ups. You also need to get your outfit ready in the morning, complete with accessories, to avoid last-minute rush. Before roasting the bird, gently rub softened butter under the skin of your turkey to add extra buttery goodness, moisture, and achieve perfectly crisp skin. Next, finish the remainder tasks like putting together final recipes, chilling the wine, etc. Make sure you taste every single thing to avoid under-seasoning.

Once everything is done, take the time to clean up and get dressed at least two hours before the guests are scheduled to arrive. As your guests start trickling in, remain calm and stick to your planned schedule for the day.

Host your Thanksgiving successfully with Pasta Fresca

Avoid the hassle of cooking this Thanksgiving festival and let us bring Thanksgiving to you. At Pasta Fresca, we want you to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. We can provide all your traditional Thanksgiving needs. While we prepare everything you need, you can focus on family, friends, decorations, and everything else that makes your Thanksgiving so special.

At Pasta Fresca, we want you to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends
At Pasta Fresca, we want you to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends

Pasta Fresca has everything you need for this Thanksgiving festival, and booking your party is easy. Just check what we can do for you on our website and contact us today to learn more about our catering service!

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