Event Planner Pro Tips: How to Host a Stress-free Thanksgiving Dinner Party
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and much of the population is dreaming of turkey, pumpkin pie, and some well-deserved vacation days. Hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner is a wonderful time of good food, fellowship, and family, but it can also create a lot of stress.
Whether you’re hosting an intimate affair or a large gathering, successful events happen when you are in control and confident. Read on for our event pro tips and how to apply them to your stress-free Thanksgiving.
Preparation is Key
When planning a Thanksgiving Dinner, being prepared is the most important part of it going smoothly. But, this goes beyond listing all your side-dish ingredients and a proper guest count. Be sure to ask your attendees if they have any food intolerances or allergies. Expect that not everyone will be forthright with their sensitivities. Keep a supply of stomach elixirs or pain killers handy if food aversions cause discomfort.
Family time is special and sacred, but discourse is natural and common upon groups who are so close. Without gossiping, try to do some pre-party investigating to see if anyone attending is squabbling. Plan your seating chart accordingly and resist hot topic conversation that might trigger a confrontation.
Is your camera battery charged? Do you have a back-up plan for inclement weather? Are your bathrooms adequately stocked with goods to service a day of over-indulgence? This may not be the nicety of the holiday, but they are often overlooked items that can add extra stress.
Being the host of a stress-free Thanksgiving Dinner means you can’t be a hero. There are a lot of moving parts and there is no disrespect in asking for help. Many guests will actually prefer to help so they don’t feel to be burdensome.
When you invite your family and friends, see if anyone would like to come early to help with preparation. Or, ask guests to bring side dishes or beverages. Ask children to help with setting the tables, emptying trash cans, and loading ice bins. Have older kids’ light candles, define a play list, and greet guests at the door.
Have a Plan B
While most parties go off without a hitch, there is always a small chance something could go not according to plan. We recommend always having a go-to in the event of an emergency. For example, if your oven malfunctions and your turkey doesn’t cook, know the nearest open restaurant that can serve your main course. What happens if the oven cooks too well and the bird catches flame? Be sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.
If you are in warmer climates, the worse thing that can happen during a hosted party is a broken air conditioning. Be sure to have plenty of fans on standby to keep things cool, or help with cooking odors or the aforementioned burned turkey! Do you celebrate Turkey Day in the north? Be sure to have plenty of wood for your fireplace if heating becomes an issue or an outside area for guests to retreat if they find themselves too warm.
The key to being stress-free is remembering the reason you are celebrating – for giving thanks. Be mindful of all the things that are good in your life, including your family and friends who have gathered with you for this day. It is easy to lose sight of all that is good with hectic schedules, commotion, cooking food, and multiple trips to the grocery store. But, if you are feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to look at the love surrounding you and express gratitude in all situations. Take a deep breath and give thanks. This is the easiest and most rewarding way to a stress-free Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Dinner isn’t always stress-free, but with these helpful and simple tips, you can quickly turn an overwhelming situation into a manageable one. Remember to revel in the joy of the season! As always, if you need help de-stressing your Thanksgiving event or any corporate event, please contact us for a consultation.