Thanksgiving Survival Guide for Hosts


The holidays tend to be overly stressful for most hosts. Don’t miss out on all of the fun with these time saving tips for organizing your holiday calendar.

1) Decide what type of gathering you are going to host this year. Will you be offering individual courses or tasting menu, a buffet or pot-luck.

2) Create an invite list if you haven’t already and determine how many invitations, emails or phone calls you will have to make to include everyone. If you chose pot-luck style, assign guests a dish category such as dessert, salad, appetizers, etc. Make sure to give them ample notice of at least two weeks.

3) Confirm that you have enough glassware, stemware, flatware and chairs. Nothing like telling Aunt Ruth she’s sitting at the kids table eating off of a paper plate with a spork from your last take out adventure. They don’t have to all match as long as they are festive and creative.

4) If your group drinks wine on Thanksgiving, ask everyone to bring a bottle and assign types to avoid multiples of the same. It can be as simple as red, white, or bubbly or as detailed as unoaked Chardonnay, fruit forward Cabernet, etc.

5) Check your kitchen: Confirm that you have all of the kitchen equipment that you are going to need for the type of party that you chose to host. Do you have warming pans for a buffet, serving utensils, a roasting pan?

6) Go online and find planning tools to build your calendar. Here are two of my favorites:

Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving Planner: Click Here

Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving Timeline: Click Here

Both sites also offer great tips on making the perfect holiday meal.

7) Have fun. Come up with ideas to keep everyone occupied and having fun. If your guest lists involves new friends, have a couple topics to get conversations started between them and the other guests. Find commonalities between them and share if appropriate. This is not the time to out your buddy. Keep it simple like where they are from or where they live now etc.

Photo from Williams-Sonoma

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