Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time this year? Or perhaps, you’re a veteran at putting together one of the most important dinners of the year!  Either way, with just about a week left to go before the big day, it is time to really start the prep work!  Let us help you stay calm and organized this Thanksgiving with the following tips and tricks, plus some great ideas if you are the one showing up to eat the turkey!


First, before you sit down to eat, you want to make sure your table is ready for your guests! Thanksgiving is the perfect time to use the pumpkins and apples you picked throughout the fall to create centerpieces and other arrangements for around the table.  Pull together some candles and little pumpkins to make a long centerpiece.  Take your apples and create apple votives for a sweet smelling centerpiece. Or, pick up a roll of craft paper and use that as a table cloth and as a way to write out the place settings for a super cute and easy tablescape.


Now, that you have the decorations and centerpieces ready to go, it is time to focus on the main event, eating!  Again, whether this is your first or tenth time hosting Thanksgiving dinner, it is important to keep these things in mind;  plan and make things ahead, delegate, create a timeline and don’t turn down help! By planning your meal ahead, it will be much easier to allow your guests to know what to bring and how to help.  By delegating out what needs to be made and brought to the dinner, it will help you, as the host, stay focused and not get overwhelmed.  Also, not everything that is served on Thanksgiving has to be made on the day.  Consider making appetizers, side dishes and pies prior to help save time and free up oven space for the turkey.  Since the host tends to make the turkey, having a timeline of when it needs to be cooked, along with other dishes, is key to avoiding having starving guests (or an uncooked turkey…yikes!).


However, if you are heading out to a Thanksgiving dinner, you don’t want to show up empty handed. Consider bringing a bottle of wine to be paired with the meal, such as a Pinot noir if you like red, or a Riesling if you enjoy white wines better.  A bouquet of flowers or a potted plant like a mum is always a great gift to give. You could even put together a homemade gift of simmering potpourri, trail mix or apple cider mix.


In the end, remember what Thanksgiving is all about, being thankful!  Be grateful and enjoy the day and the time you get to spend with your loved ones.


Posted by Jill Burke