Event Inspiration, Event Professionals

How To Host Thanksgiving

Written by Robyn Blassoples · 4 min read >

You’ve been nominated… or perhaps bullied into hosting, or it’s just your turn. No matter what the factor, you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. This need not be a concern. In fact, it can be a pleasure, provided the right preparation and company. An excellent Thanksgiving celebration is an event you and your guests will cherish for a lifetime. If you enjoy having your friends and family around, you already have among the most crucial components of a good time, especially an occasion like Thanksgiving. If you approach hosting your celebration with the best attitude, you are more likely to prosper. 

Budget:

You can have a great dinner party with restricted funds, and you don’t need to get in debt to host a memorable experience. Of course, at some time before Thanksgiving, you’ll need to go shopping for the ingredients you’ll be needing for the various dishes. 

If you go shopping with a budget and list, it won’t cost you a fortune to throw a Thanksgiving dinner that will make you the envy of your social circle. If you have limited funds, think about a potluck. It gives each of your guests an opportunity to bring their preferred dish or appetizer. Dinner parties can be a great deal of fun and a chance to attempt new recipes! 

The most important job is to set your budget. The 2nd most important job you have, and it is more difficult than the first job, is to stick with your spending plan. Do not try to set your budget as you get to the shops. Shopping without a budget certainly leads to impulse buying. Much like shopping when hungry, you overspend and buy things not needed. Attempting to figure out what to purchase and just how much to spend *at the shop* is a recipe for disaster. Have a plan and stick with it. If you have restricted spending plan, you can host an alcohol-free celebration, BYOB (Bring your own booze) or you can make a punch for welcome drinks to sip on and then ask your guests to bring a bottle of their choice.

I’ve discovered that the key to a nearly effortless-looking dinner is thinking backwards. Start your Thanksgiving preparation by imagining yourself, surrounded by family and friends at the table, then work backwards to identify how you arrived. Ask yourself which foods took the least amount of preparation, which took the most. Write these things down on a list.

Which dishes require to be prepared that day? Which dishes need to be prepared within an hour of the dinner?

Now it’s time to fine-tune the list even more. If you plan to be serving lunch at 2:00 p.m., for example, and the turkey will take three hours to roast, then half-hour to rest prior to carving, it needs to be in the oven at 10:15 a.m. Why 10:15, and not 10:30? My start time factors in the 3 and one-half hours, plus around fifteen minutes to get the turkey carved and set up on a serving plate after it has actually rested. By now, your list– or perhaps lists– has grown substantially, as you refine the necessary jobs to get to that fantastic picture of yourself sitting among family and friends at the table. The next step in the procedure is to begin to identify the tasks involved in preparing the active ingredients for the meals that will comprise your Thanksgiving menu; the prep work.

Invitations:

A creative invitation will assist the style of your dinner, and instruct the guests on any food or items that they need to bring to the occasion, and add some fun. You can produce inexpensive, one-of-a-kind invites using a good app. My personal preference is ‘Over’ or ‘Canva’ as they’re super easy to use and have a huge variety of templates which you can customize as you like, and then you can email or send the invites out via social media to your guests.


Decor:

Your decor is going to have a lot to do with setting the mood, so make sure to make an effort to correctly decorate the place of your party. Once again, decorations can be very low-cost. Attempt shopping at your local dollar store or China town or warehouse store to purchase some affordable items, candle lights, and decorative items. It will help to cheer up a dull space and motivate discussion. There are a lot of possibilities to point out, simply utilize your creativity. Something I suggest is using when planning your special Thanksgiving is Pinterest, create a board or steal someone else’s board of pins- from decor inspo, food ideas and recipes and much more. We’ve created one on the Eventerprise account which you can find here, tag us on Instagram if you use any of our ideas!


Kitchen time:

It’s charming to watch the chefs on the food channel or youtube videos casually talking about adding a cup of chopped onions to a saute pan– as they get a cup of sliced onions that’s been placed within simple reach on their counter. Of course, they have the advantage of having four sous chefs backstage which we don’t see, who keep them provided with the chopped, minced, pureed, or marinated active ingredients they’ll need to develop a smooth-running half-hour TV show.

As part of your master schedule, allow a lot of time for prep work, or do it a day or two before. This will ensure smooth cooking when the time comes. You do not want to be hunting for a clove of garlic in a refrigerator stuffed with food for twenty, while you have a pan of hot oil on the range waiting for you- trust me. This is also a good time to think of how many of the recipes on your menu will require the same ingredients. If, for instance, you have 2 meals on your menu that each needs a cup of onions, make sure to slice two cups of onions, and have them on hand, pre-measured and ready to go when the time comes to cook. Think about which of the ingredients might need to be prepped. By doing so, you can save yourself like 2 hours on Thanksgiving Day, 2 hours you could be using catching up with loved ones, or sleeping in a bit later the morning of. 

In addition, it would be smart if you do not already have one– to get an instant-read meat thermometer. Understanding that you’ve prepared your turkey to an internal temperature of 165 F. will offer you a great deal of self-confidence, and let you to concentrate on the myriad last-minute information of getting the meal on the dining-room table.

Now that you have your menu, have done your shopping and preparation work, what to do on Thanksgiving morning? : trust no one, Beware. You might entrust a close friend or relative to watch on the creamed spinach, however, don’t be surprised if the Macy’s parade or a Fortnite game draws your well-meaning helper far from the kitchen before the spinach is done.

One last thing about prep work that will make the entire OMG-I’m- hosting-Thanksgiving experience run more smoothly: offer yourself a break when you’ve finished chopping vegetables, measuring ingredients, and typically assuring yourself that you have the situation in hand. It helps you to mentally shift and move from the role of prep cook to the role of chef.


All that’s left for you to do now is to think about your menu before you get going with that budget! There are lots of recipes on Pinterest if you get stuck. 

Goodluck with hosting Thanksgiving, may it be filled with lots of joy and happiness. Have a wonderful time with your friends and family.