Thanksgiving should be about spending time with loved ones and slowing down. But if you’re assigned to host the dinner, you’ll easily find yourself stressed out about pulling off a perfect party. Some even go to lengths by renovating the house and hiring a general contractor to improve the overall design of their house. Others prepare extravagant and complex recipes to impress their guests.
It’s hard to blame Thanksgiving hosts for wanting to organize a perfect holiday party. But sometimes, a calm and heartfelt dinner is what it only takes to enjoy Thanksgiving. With that in mind, here are ways to keep your cool when hosting a Thanksgiving dinner.
Food and lifestyle magazines are plain reasons why people get so stressed about hosting Thanksgiving parties. The glossy front covers and extravagant food staging got everyone striving for perfection during holidays. People obsessed so much about impressing their friends and family members to the point that preparation itself stresses them out.
Before the holiday planning starts, take a moment to pause and eliminate unrealistic high expectations. Instead, focus on hosting a happy and comfortable Thanksgiving that truly reflects who you are.
The idea of a true Thanksgiving is the image of tried-and-true recipes, a messy kitchen, shared gratitude, afternoon walks, and joyful dinner conversations. Simply think of your favorite things about Thanksgiving and make sure to incorporate them into the celebration.
You can prepare several traditional Thanksgiving meals the day before. Use this to your advantage by preparing at least two dishes. For complex recipes, make sure to devote time for the preparation to save time and counter space.
When shopping for supplies, write a grocery list containing extra supplies for the kitchen, cleaning, the party, and overnight guests. Ensure a sufficient supply of these items: toilet paper, garbage bags, paper towels, resealable bags, basic toiletries, cleaning wipes, and cleaning products.
Consider doing only your favorite Thanksgiving tasks while asking for assistance for the rest. Give yourself a favor by claiming only your preferred meals and farming out others. This is also a perfect opportunity to invite guests to contribute something.
You may want to set the table early if you plan to include some decorations and arrangements. Pull out all the linens and heirloom dinnerware ahead of time. The best time is to do it in the evening, but make sure to keep the kids and pets away from the table setting to avoid injuries and broken plates.
If you’re not interested in creating an elaborate setting, stick to the basics, such as clear glasses, jam jars, cloth napkins, and white plates. This will allow the colors and vibrance of Thanksgiving dishes to take center stage.
Another tip is to stick with easy-to-cook appetizers. Of course, you want guests to have extra room before the main dishes come in. By cooking simple appetizers, such as cheese plates and roasted nuts, you make life easier for you and your guests. You may consider placing the snacks near the drinks station to avoid kitchen traffic.
Keep guests busy while you’re cooking
The laughter, chaos, and the sounds of guests coming in can surely overwhelm and stress you out if you’re still aren’t done with the cooking. As the meals start to fill the kitchen with amazing aromas, encourage guests to visit the yard for some fresh air or a photo op session. While some may choose to stay to watch sports, make sure the rest are out of the house.
Set up a beverage station in the foyer, living room, or outside the kitchen. These are the perfect places where guests can hang out for small conversations. Instead of having guests come and go in the kitchen to get drinks, they have an exclusive place to have a beer, wine, soda, or any bubbly drinks.
If the kids start to get antsy, provide them with toys, art supplies, or anything to keep their hands busy.
Take regular breaks
The spirit of Thanksgiving isn’t all about festivity. Rather, it’s about celebrating a year filled with gratitude and a heart filled with peace, serenity, and calmness. Don’t stress yourself too much on preparations; allow yourself to take frequent breaks, and don’t forget to breathe and loosen up. By making tiny pauses, you make yourself feel more aware and calmer amid all the laughter and lively conversations.
Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner can make us feel tempted and pressured to throw the perfect party. In reality, Thanksgiving is also about embracing imperfection to create a more meaningful and less stressful holiday. So follow our steps above to enjoy a calming and hassle-free Thanksgiving season.