In light of a global pandemic rocking our world for the past two years, it has become more imperative than ever before to really ensure that our house feels like a home. Undoubtedly, our home has become a safe haven- a space where we can gather those we love and trust, reflect, and create lasting memories that fortify us against the difficulties of the outside world.
For many of us, this year’s Thanksgiving will likely be spent at home. Our team has put together some tips and tricks to make hosting a breeze. Here are 8 ways to make your guests’ stay memorable, cozy, and inviting.
The key to having a relaxing and fun holiday with your loved ones? Make. A. Plan. Thanksgiving can involve a lot of moving parts, but with a property executed plan broken down into steps, hosting will be a breeze.
Get out a pen and paper, and make a list with the following questions in mind:
Making a plan is the hardest part- what follows is simply executing it all in a timely manner!
Ambience is everything- your guests will ultimately remember how your hosting experience made them feel. Therefore it is super important to ensure the right tone is set for the evening.
It really doesn’t have to be complicated- a crisp tablecloth, some pretty napkins, and a solid floral arrangement should do the trick. Need some serious inspiration for the perfect Autumnal table scapes that are simple yet sure to impress?- you can read all about it here.
Candles as centerpieces or scattered throughout your living room is the simplest way to create the coziest vibes. Coordinating your placemats, serviettes, and cocktail napkins to ensure a consistent colour scheme will always make for a chic evening- you can explore our collections page for some beautiful Autumnal patterns and colours. Finally, consider creating place cards to really personalize the evening and prevent guest confusion.
Before going out to purchase any groceries, silverware, or decor, take stock of what you currently have in your kitchen or storage. Make a list of the things you need to get. It is best to do this about a week leading up to the big day to avoid the last-minute panic of a giant grocery/decor haul (sounds very overwhelming and can truly be avoided).
Perhaps this could also be an opportune time to clean and organize your kitchen. Starting your Thanksgiving prep with an empty sink, dishwasher, and an organized pantry makes for a significantly less stressful time. It also gives you the opportunity to take a thorough inventory of the items you already have on-hand (always a good feeling to find an extra roll of napkins).
A novel suggestion is to set your table a couple of days ahead of time- this will give you some insight as to what blanks still need to be filled in. Short on spoons? Need an extra can of cranberry sauce? Running to the store to grab a couple of things that will inevitably be forgotten is much less daunting if you have already purchased a bulk of your items ahead of time. The goal is to truly be as relaxed as possible the morning of the meal.
Don’t be shy or proud- accept help when it’s offered! Thanksgiving cannot always be a one-person job; besides, more often than not friends and family would be more than happy to lend a helping hand rather than feeling like useless bystanders. There is nothing more disastrous than biting off more than you can chew.
Whether a friend or relative offers to bring food, swing by the store to pick up a bottle of wine last-minute, or come over early to help you move around furniture and set the table- just say yes!
This can prevent a lot of awkwardness and inconvenience in the long run. Setting proper boundaries with others is not just an important aspect of ensuring a smoother and less stressful Thanksgiving dinner- it’s an important practice to adopt in pretty much every area of life.
When sending out invitations, clearly state the time you’d like your guests to arrive and be firm about it- make sure they actually RSVP. Know ahead of time who is and isn’t staying overnight- you want to make sure you can properly accommodate everyone. If you are unable or unequipped to host people for the night, make sure they know. The last thing you want are stray guests arriving hours ahead of time while you’re showering or still basting the turkey; you also would properly prefer guests do not crash on your couch unannounced when all you want to do is clean up and relax after the meal. Be respectful of your time and effort- this will ensure a better experience for everyone involved.
Keep the drinks flowing! Beverages are definitely an important aspect of any soiree and should not be overlooked. Be sure to provide non-alcoholic beverage options to kids and non-drinkers.
Whatever you do- do NOT make and serve individual cocktails- this is time-consuming and way too much prep work (you already have enough to worry about). Have a crock pot full of spiced cider on hand, with rum or bourbon on the side for those who like it spiked. Along with classic soft drinks and seltzer, red wine is a timeless choice- pass around bottles for people to serve themselves.
FInally, add a touch of elegance to your dinner with some fancy cotton cocktail napkins– the perfect way to prevent ring stains on your furniture and simply classy to boot!
Remember: ultimately, your guests came for you. They do not expect perfection and for things to go off without a hitch- things seldom do anyways. What they do expect is your attention, and to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Pick out your outfit early so it’s one less thing to worry about last-minute. Follow your game plan to a T in order to ensure you have time to wash the flour and grease out of your face and hair. Looking your best will ensure you are feeling your best.
If certain things do not go according to plan- refer to pointer #5- Your guests are on your side and want to help! Trust us- they are probably just happy that they are not hosting anyone for Thanksgiving this year.