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How to Prepare for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner


Whether it’s your first time being handed the buck to host Thanksgiving dinner or you have just taken it upon yourself to host this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, you can survive and walk away beaming with pride. You can do this without stressing out and you will be able to create a spectacular Thanksgiving dinner meal that has your family and friends talking for years to come!


There is some amazing first time Thanksgiving dinner menu plans already pre-built out there online for you to start creating ahead of time. The first step for this preparation to host Thanksgiving dinner would be to think about your menu plan. When determining what you will offer for a food spread to the family you will need to take into consideration items you are able to make a couple months ahead of time. The key to surviving Thanksgiving dinner is to ensure you are baking and cooking up the meal months ahead of time when possible.

Now that you have determined what you will be baking and cooking up for a meal on Thanksgiving Day, you are able to focus more on where guests will be seated. Think about having a kids table for the younger kids and a separate table for the teen kids as well as an adult only table. There’s a reason you will want to separate the age groups of kids and adults, it helps keep communication going on this fine Thanksgiving Day. The best Thanksgiving dinner event is one in which all family members unite under one roof to discuss life as they see it and catch up on all the news each missed during the last year.


Confirm your guest list about a month in advance, reach out to whom you wish to invite for this fine Thanksgiving Day dinner and be sure to give everyone a specific RSVP date so you are not stuck with extra last minute guests. Confirming the guest list about one month in advance will ensure you have the seating placements accurate, ample food and seating areas available for all guests.  Be sure to let the guests know what the menu options are and allow people to bring a dish if they offer to bring something.

Prepare for overnight guests, if you are someone who has family arriving from long distance you may want to prepare to have a sleep over. Prepare an area for the guests who may wish to sleep over due to the long travel hours they have to arrive back home. Thinking ahead for tired guests that have far to travel is the perfect way to ensure you don’t end up with a living room full of sleeping relatives.

While you may not be able to prepare for everything that can occur on Thanksgiving Day dinner, we hope that these tips help guide you towards a stress free event this year when you host Thanksgiving dinner.
Annmarie John
72 Comments
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72 comments:

  1. I can't believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It snuck up way too fast!

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    1. Oh me either and next thing you know, it'll be Christmas.

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  2. Anyone who's going to host Thanksgiving dinner needs these tips. It's so much fun to have the family over, but getting to that point can be a nightmare.

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    1. Oh a nightmare it can be indeed but you'll survive.

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  3. Thanks for the wonderful tips! I guess I should start planning, Thanksgiving is only in 21 DAYS!! That's crazy, I need to get in gear.
    xo
    www.mrsaokaworkinprogress.com

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    1. Can you believe how quickly it's snuck up on us. Are you ready?

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  4. Good advice. In my family, firming up the guest list 30 days in advance would not happen. We'll have people coming in without Rsvping or telling us 24 hours in advance. Oh well, we wouldn't want to leave anyone out!

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    1. Well as long as you have the room you should be good but it's always good to know in advance and be prepared for extras.

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  5. These are extremely helpful tips for those preparing holiday meals. We have yet to host, but understand that time is not too far away.

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    1. It is actually a lot closer than you think, are you ready for Thanksgiving?

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  6. I think confirming your guests list with plenty of time is a sound plan. No one wants to have too many quests and not enough food.

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    1. That is very true, that won't make for a good party at all.

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  7. These are great tips. It's so important to be on the same page.

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    1. Yes it is very important and I hope my tips helped.

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  8. I am hosting Thanksgiving this year and it is stressful. These are great tips!

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    1. We are also hosting this year and I am trying not to be stressed out about it.

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  9. Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. This year everyone is coming so it will be a packed house, but I can't wait to spend time with my nieces and nephew, as well as my sister and brother.

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    1. Oh that sounds like it will be a great Thanksgiving for you. I have a few people coming to mine as well and I'm excited as this is my first time hosting.

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  10. We always hold Thanksgiving at our house. This is a treat list to help me get ready for it.

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  11. I would stress out just reading this list. Fortunately, I don't typically fix Thanksgiving dinner. My mother-in-law does it. She loves it, so good for her!

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    1. Well maybe this year you can help her, how about that?

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  12. I find thanksgiving so easy to cook. It's my favorite meal!

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  13. I've never hosted Thanksgiving Day dinner, but I've been a part of quite a few where I had to bring my own something (side dish, turkey, etc) and I think it works well in that regard so no one person has to do all the work. I'd be interested to host my own Thanksgiving, so I'll let you know when it happens!! xx Adaleta Avdic

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    1. I've never hosted one before, this is my first this year and I'm excited.

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  14. These tips are really helpful! I absolutely want everything to be perfect on the big day! Will remember these tips!

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    1. I assume that you're hosting, I'm pretty sure that you'll do a great job!

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  15. My Mom is making Thanksgiving this year since I am 9 months pregnant and due that week. I am lucky to have her put everything together. I plan to make a side dish though!

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    1. Congrats, you just may have a Thanksgiving baby, how delightful that will be.

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  16. Thanks for the tips.
    Good article that I can certainly put to use come holiday time.

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    1. You're very welcome and thanks for stopping by.

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  17. I'll need this in the future, I've never hosted Thanksgiving. My in-laws and my side of the family ALWAYS both host. We bounce around on every holiday.

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    Replies
    1. Then maybe it's time that you hosted. Why not?

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  18. Wow, nice tips! Thanksgiving is full of excitement! These tips are so helpful!

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    1. It sure is filled with lots of excitement and delicious food!

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  19. These are very helpful tips for those who are hosting a Thanksgiving party. This is one of my favorite holidays.

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    1. Thanksgiving is actually one of my favorite as well too.

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  20. I start working on my menu plan way too far in advance lol...probably because I want to test out all of the new recipes I'll be making!

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    1. And that's alright, you want Thanksgiving to be perfect!

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  21. I try to do as much of the cooking as I can the day before. That way I have lees to do and more time to spend with my family.

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    1. We start off early in the morning but this year the bigger things may be done way in advance as well.

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  22. Oh, this is one of the best holidays of all time. Thanks for the lovely tips.

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  23. Great tips. This year our thanksgiving is postponed till the weekend after as we're flying back from our vacation on thanksgiving day!

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  24. Confirming the guest list is a must! There is nothing quite like having relatives surprise you at the last minute.

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    1. Sometimes you confirm and they still surprise you, so it's always best to be prepared for those surprises.

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  25. That's smart to separate by age. My first Thanksgiving was a disaster, I left the inside stuff, inside the turkey. Ha. That was many years ago. I've gotten a lot better at it (and thank goodness family keeps coming back, lol).

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    1. That's hilarious Rosey, because I did the same thing my very first Thanksgiving preparing it myself. :)

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  26. Separate the tables accordance the age is a clever idea. The tips are thoughtful ideas for Thanksgiving day, and I think is applicable as well to another occasion where family gather and have a celebration.

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    1. I always try and separate the kids from the adults most of the time, this year however, we're all eating together.

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  27. I'll never forget about my first time hosting Thanksgiving Dinner! I was so scared, but it went really well! It was so much fun!

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    1. What were you most scared about? I'm sure you probably scared yourself since it turned out great.

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  28. I think for most people these are great tips. We could never get people to confirm a month in advance. Sometimes in our family people show up that day!

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    1. That's the thing with family however, they always seem to do just what they want.

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  29. Luckily Thanksgiving is always held at my great uncles home! I don't know what I would do if my whole family tried to fit in my tiny little house! Maybe one day Ill be able to host!

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    1. I'm sure you'll be able to make it work, where there's a will there's a way.

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  30. I will be hosting this year and I am nervous. I want everything to be perfect!

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    1. Don't worry about it, I'm sure it will turn out great. We worry too much about things we can't control.

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  31. Oh my goodness, I can't believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner! I've never hosted, but I always feel for the host and try to help out as much as I can!

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    1. That's the spirit. Thanksgiving is all about giving and your helping is certainly appreciated I'm sure.

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  32. We host every three years and I generally let Cassidy take over because he's both a cook and an event planner.
    That said, I think it's time to take some of the reins!

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    1. Yes I think it's time to take some of the reins but with Cassidy's help of course, since he's so awesome!

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  33. Fortunately, I don't have much to do to prepare other than meal planning this year. I feel pretty stress free.

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    1. That is great! I know that I have quite a bit to do this year since I'm hosting this year.

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  34. Ahh it is right around the corner! Is it sad this excites me and scares me at the same time!?Everything will be perfect , it is just getting there and preparing right?!

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    1. Don't be afraid, with these tips you should be good to go. Don't forget to ask for help if it gets to be overwhelming.

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  35. I can't believe thanksgiving is this month! I don't have to meal prep this year because we are going to a friends house but next year...that's all me! Thanks for sharing!

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  36. Great tips!!! This is the first year in like forever I'm not incharge of turkey day!!!its actually nice to not have all that stress for a change.

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  37. I wish I could confirm a month ahead! I'm lucky I have a head count a day before- ugh. These are all great tips and hosting is sometimes not easy but so worth it in the end

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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