The Seven Steps Needed for Hosting Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving will mark the seventh year that Andrew and I will be hosting my dad's side. We've learned a lot along the way and have come up with a few ways to make it painless!

First thing is: (my husband says - make sure you like your family!) begin planning a month in advance and contact your guests.
-We start planning out the menu, contacting people about what they'd like to bring. Our family likes simplicity and consistency so we all bring the same dish each year (or a variation of it). Grandma always tries a new recipe to surprise us with too!

Second: Plan the menu & shopping list
-I mentioned in the first step that we contact everyone early in November about what they'll bring so our menu is pretty much the same each year - we do the ham and turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and hors d'oeuvres.

Thirdly: Plan seating
-count +1's if you've got any, make sure you have enough chairs, make sure your chairs won't fall apart from the aftermath of the dinner. Make sure you have enough table space, or tables. Choose if you will have a buffet style or a pass the dish meal.

Fourth: Decorate (or plan your decor)
-I love this time of year on Pinterest, there are so many amazing decor ideas!!! You can see a few of my favorites here.

Fifth: Grocery shopping and decorating
-REMEMBER to bring your grocery list with you!!! ;) I forget mine sometimes...oops! If you haven't decorated your place for fall yet, this would be the time to get out the leaves, pumpkins, turkeys, gourds, etc. and adorn your place with the loveliness! If you need ideas you can go here and find a few!

Sixth: Thaw the turkey!!! (if you're doing the turkey) and plan the schedule for the day of
-a turkey takes up to 4 days to thaw in the refrigerator. Plan 1 day for every 4 pounds of turkey. And while you're at the math, now is a good time to sit down and plan the schedule for that day. Make sure to count time to empty the turkey, mix up the stuffing, stuff the bird, etc. Make a list of everything you need to do and then time block your day. (there's a handy printable for you!)

Seventh: Clean and set out places
-if you don't have kids you can probably do all of this the day before, if you do have kids, clean the day before and set out places the day of. I decided to go with paper plates this year (we're classy like that) actually I found some super cute platters at wally world. It cuts down on dish washing time after the meal, minimizes the thought process, and maximizes plate space!

Is there anything that we missed? Anything that you do special for hosting Thanksgiving?

I'd really love to know, please leave a comment below and tell me what else you'd add!

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