Host the Perfect Thanksgiving!

by | Nov 2, 2022 | Blog

Table filled with Thanksgiving dinner items

It’s time to say farewell to Halloween decorations, costumes, and candy corn and say hello to turkey, family get-togethers, and long lines at the grocery store for that last holiday ham!

Yes, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Plus, with our busy lives and schedules, it always comes faster than we think. This can cause some last-minute preparation before the family arrives for Thanksgiving Day!

If you’re hosting an annual Thanksgiving dinner, or even if this is your first time hosting, we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t need to be difficult! As long as you plan now, it will be nothing but smooth sailing on the day of Thanksgiving.

So instead of burning the turkey because you’re too busy running to the grocery store for more candied yams, here are some helpful suggestions for hosting the perfect Thanksgiving.

Prepare Your Menu

Woman creating and checking a Thanksgiving menu

When we think of a Thanksgiving dinner, we naturally think about turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and other hallmark dinner items. However, there are plenty of other things to consider before the big day!

How many people are coming? Is anyone else preparing a food item and bringing it? Who prefers what? These are all great questions to consider in early November to host the perfect Thanksgiving.

Start by thinking about the following things:

How many people will you be hosting for Thanksgiving? 

The best ways to home in on your number of guests could be to call and invite, send a group text invite including everyone you would like, or send out an email invite. Once you have the number of people attending your Thanksgiving should make things much easier during your food prep stage.

What’s on your menu?

What will you be preparing, and what would you like your menu to look like? Sit down with a pen and paper and dive into everything you would like to be available for guests during dinner. Get it all on paper so you can see all the foods you would like to prepare. 

What’s on your guests’ menu? 

Chances are good that you will be one of many preparing food for your Thanksgiving dinner. Be sure to check with your guests if anyone is planning on cooking and bringing a food item for dinner. If someone is planning on bringing something, be sure to check that off your list and write the food item, along with who is bringing that item to your list. 

(Note: Be sure to check in with your guests at least a week before Thanksgiving to see if they’re still planning on bringing food.)

Food Preparation

Person's hand carving a turkey for Thanksgiving

What’s that old saying, “the early bird catches the worm”? Well, it’s not different in this case. The earlier you begin prepping your food for Thanksgiving, the better.

Rather than waiting until the week before or the day of Thanksgiving, consider ways you can plan ahead. For starters, you can purchase your turkey two weeks before Thanksgiving and store it in your freezer. Just be sure to take the turkey out and defrost it safely in the refrigerator before Thanksgiving.

We all know that freezer space can be limited as well. Another thing to consider is your relative’s freezer space. Ask mom, dad, and other guests if they could spare any freezer space during your food prep.  

What other items can you prepare ahead of time?

Pies and Desserts – These items can be purchased, frozen, and defrosted in time for Thanksgiving. They will still taste just as good as the day you purchased them!

Canned products – According to your list, canned products such as cranberry sauce, vegetables, gravy mix, canned yams, or even non-canned items like boxed stuffing mix can all be purchased and stored well before Thanksgiving.

Rolls – Pillsbury is an excellent source for making rolls and even cinnamon buns for the morning of Thanksgiving. And guess what? You can store it in the freezer. So even if you prefer making your rolls and buns from scratch, you can still plan ahead, get all the ingredients, and store them away for the big day. 

Plates and Utensils

A pile of disposable plates

We all like to have the dinner table looking nice and festive for all the guests that will be showing up. However, there’s nothing wrong with using disposable plates, forks, spoons, knives, and napkins. It really makes the clean-up process a lot less time constraining, so you can spend more time with your family!

From the Mountain View Lodge & Resort family, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!