Hosting Thanksgiving? Read These Tips First!

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving at your apartment this year, congrats! It’s a badge of honor to be awarded the hosting duties—a sure sign that your family and friends trust you to pull off the perfect Turkey Day. But, of course, hosting duties can also feel like an overwhelming responsibility. Stay calm, cool, and collected this Thanksgiving by following these tips.

  1. Prep as much as possible in advance. French chefs have a specific term for getting the kitchen ready for a cooking marathon: “mise en place,” which means “everything in its place.” Follow this approach to make your Thanksgiving morning much easier. Chop, measure, and cook as much as you can before Turkey Day so you only have a few tasks left before your guests arrive.

  2. Try a potluck-style feast. Some hot dishes will have to be prepared immediately before your meal in your own kitchen (e.g., the turkey and the mashed potatoes). But there’s no reason you have to be in charge of cold dishes and sides, like salads and green beans. Let your guests chip in and ask everyone to bring a side dish or dessert to Thanksgiving.

  3. Add extra seating. Depending on how many guests you’re having over for the feast, your dining room table might not be big enough to accommodate everyone. Instead of squeezing in extra chairs, add a folding table or some other makeshift dining space to comfortably fit your entire crew.

  4. Don’t go overboard with decor. Guests always appreciate a bit of Thanksgiving decor, but don’t feel like you have to go crazy with decorations. Create or buy a simple Thanksgiving centerpiece (gourds and autumn leaves always work), and light a few candles. That should be enough to create a festive and welcoming atmosphere.

How to Host Thanksgiving for the First Time [Southern Living]
Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving [Reader’s Digest]
How To Host An Incredible Thanksgiving Without Losing Your Mind [Real Simple]