modern dining room with thanksgiving table ready to host the ultimate thanksgiving at home

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and that means tons of delicious food, spending quality time with friends and family, and making new memories! Thanksgiving Day requires a lot of preparation for things to go smoothly. For instance, a menu needs to be organized and food needs to be prepared, the guest list needs to be decided, and the house needs to be cleaned and decorated. If you have ever hosted Thanksgiving at your home before, you know the amount of work that goes into preparing for the big day but who doesn’t need a little reminder sometimes? And for those who have never hosted Thanksgiving on their own before, this guide is a great place to learn how to hose the ultimate Thanksgiving at home. 

Guest List

First, let’s start with the guest list. It’s important to consider the size of your house and the room or rooms where you will be hosting Thanksgiving at your home. How many people can your space fit? Consider how many people you are willing to cook for and entertain as well. Are you more comfortable with an intimate group of a few close family members or friends, or are you looking to throw a big Thanksgiving celebration? After deciding on your final guest list, make sure to note of any separate beverages or meals that need to be prepared for children or vegetarians, vegans, etc. 


Menu and Food Preparation

When you offer to host Thanksgiving Dinner, never turn down help when people offer to make a dish or bring something to your home. It minimizes your to-do list and frees up your time to focus on something else. Also, try not to exclude pre-made or store-bought items from the menu. While you may want most of your menu to be homemade, having some quick already made sides or appetizers will free up time and make the day go smoothly for you. 

Once you have received offers from your guests on bringing a dish, organize your menu, and see what is left to make. Then, before grocery shopping make sure to clean out your fridge and make some room for the dishes you are about to make ahead of time and store for the big day. Also, be sure to invest in takeout containers. There are always leftovers on Thanksgiving and this way, your guests don’t have to worry about bringing their own tupperware, or returning yours after they use it.  

Cocktails & Mocktails

While the food on Thanksgiving Day is the main attraction, it’s important to not forget about the beverages. While making trendy decorated individual cocktails for your guests may sound like a special touch, it is also extremely time consuming when there is so much more to plan and focus on throughout the day. Instead, make a pre-made punch for your guests to serve themselves or use a large drink dispenser to have throughout the entire day. You can still make it colorful and add in a few trendy and decorative touches. It will just be a larger portion to devote less time to serving individual drinks to your guests throughout the day.  

When making drinks, don’t forget about any children you have attending as well. They typically admire the fancy punches or drinks, so maybe make a mocktail version for them to enjoy. Just be sure they don’t look too similar and are accurately labeled and placed apart from each other so they are not to be confused with the alcoholic ones.  


Set the Table

A huge time-saver for the big day, is to set your table up the night before so it’s one less thing to worry about. Make sure you have enough tables and chairs for all of your guests. Then place a nice linen on the table with place settings for everyone. To add a personalized touch, you can even add place settings and name cards for each guest attending.  

Decorate the table and the rest of the room with a few Thanksgiving and fall decorations, but try not to go too overboard as most of the space will be needed for the feast. If you have children attending Thanksgiving at your home, consider setting up a smaller children’s table for them to eat at. You can use less fancy décor and even use plasticware instead to keep things easier for cleanup. 

Satisfy and Entertain your Guests

The key to hosting the Ultimate Thanksgiving at your home, is that your guests leave the celebration stuffed and satisfied. Make sure throughout the day that your guests are having fun by implementing some activities or games. You can have people participate in conversation by saying what they are grateful for, play games, or even turn on some of the football games if you have football fans on your guest list. As for the kids, keep them busy with activities, games, or coloring sheets. You can even designate one room in the house for them to hangout, play, and watch movies.