Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner: A Recipe for a Memorable Celebration

Written by: Kelsie Grossen



Time to read 2 min

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is a HUGE responsibility, but can also be super fun! If you are the go-getter that wants to do it all and cook it all, kudos to you! If not, no worries. Hosting is stressful enough, don't feel obligated to make the whole meal, delegating is key. Here are a few tips and tricks to hosting a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner that your guests will be sure to cherish for years to come.

Plan Ahead

The key to a successful Thanksgiving dinner is thorough planning. Start by creating a checklist that includes:

  • The guest list: Determine how many people you'll be hosting to plan your menu and seating arrangements.
  • Menu planning: Decide on your dishes, taking into account dietary restrictions and preferences of your guests.
  • Decorations: Think about the theme, color scheme, and table settings that will create a warm, inviting atmosphere.
  • Shopping list: Make a detailed shopping list to ensure you have all the ingredients and supplies you need.

Prepare the Menu

Thanksgiving is ALL about the food, so take your time to plan a delicious menu. Traditional dishes like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are a must. But don't be afraid to put your own twist on these classics or incorporate other signature dishes that come from family or friends!

Time Management

Try to coordinate your cooking schedule to ensure everything is ready at the same time. This is a struggle I face even when I'm making dinner for two. Since I'm bad at this, I got tips from others: Start by preparing a timeline, working backward from the serving time. It's crucial to avoid any last-minute rush. Enlist help from family and friends if necessary; Thanksgiving is a collaborative effort.

Create a Welcoming Atmosphere

Decorate your home in a way that makes your guests feel welcome. Some have Christmas decor already up during this time, which is fine, but don't miss out on the opportunity of making your table a more of a cozy-fall inspired look. Consider using autumn-themed decorations, such as pumpkins, leaves, and candles, to set the mood. Add cute place settings with names to show that a lot of thought went into planning this, and make it feel more special.

The Turkey

The centerpiece of Thanksgiving dinner is undoubtedly the turkey. Roasting a turkey can be intimidating, but it's manageable with the right approach. Brining your turkey can make it moist and flavorful. Don't forget to allow enough time for thawing if you buy a frozen turkey. Another great tip is a good food thermometer to make sure that bird is perfectly cooked and ready to serve!

Dessert Extravaganza

Eat all the food you want, but don't forget about the best part - dessert! After a satisfying meal, indulge your guests with a variety of desserts. Alongside the classic pumpkin pie, offer a selection of treats like apple pie, pecan pie, and perhaps some homemade cookies or brownies. Coffee, tea, and some dessert wine can be a nice touch.

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is a special occasion, make it what you want! Through careful planning, delicious food, a welcoming atmosphere, and expressions of gratitude, you can ensure a wonderful celebration. The most important thing is to enjoy the time spent with your friends and family, appreciating the warmth and love that Thanksgiving brings. Happy hosting, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!