5 Tips for Hosting Your First Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love how everyone comes together, to gather over one big meal. This year Josh and I are headed to Seattle (so we won't be cooking ourselves), but we've hosted a few Thanksgiving meals in the past years—and I've picked up some tips and tricks on how to make sure all goes smoothly.

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One // Get Organized

Never hosted Thanksgiving dinner before? No need to be worried—as long as you plan your day and meal in advance. Stock up on some magazines like Bon Appétit and Real Simple so you're ready to pick your recipes. Once you know how many people are coming, make sure you have plates, bowls, silverware, glasses, and serving dishes for everyone who will be attending. Also, make sure you have stocked up on cookware! The last thing you want to do is get to Thanksgiving day and not have a pan to roast your turkey in, or a cookie sheet to bake rolls on.

Two // Pick Your Recipes In Advance

Do you know how many different ways there are to cook a turkey? There are a million. Same with potatoes, green beans, cranberries—the list goes on and on. Take those magazines you stocked up—or those family recipes you've hoarded—and decide which ones will work on the big day.

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Three // Deep Clean Your Home—Ahead of Time

Don't be tempted to leave everything to the day before Thanksgiving, especially if you're hosting. Make a plan to deep clean your house the weekend before, so you have one less thing to worry about. And, if you can, schedule things like grocery deliveries and your turkey pickup in advance, so that you don't have to worry about it.

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Four // Make a (Long) Playlist

You can't forget the music! Find a fun playlist on Apple Music or Spotify that's a few hours long. Nothing too loud or wordy—just nice background music that can play for hours.

Five // Give Everyone a Job

I don't know about you, but nothing stresses me out more on Thanksgiving day than cooking and having everyone just standing around, watching you. Instead of falling into that trap, have everyone pour themselves a glass of wine and then put them to work. Whether it's setting the table, mashing the potatoes or running around outside with the kids, having everyone out of your hair will open up space in your kitchen for you to get the meal on the table.

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Are you hosting your own Thanksgiving dinner this year? Let me know in the comments section!