Planning the perfect Thanksgiving dinner party

As any host or hostess knows, there is a lot of work that goes into planning a party , especially when it’s for a special occasion like Thanksgiving dinner. You have to clean your house, decorate, make delicious food, and plan entertainment — all while providing that special something extra to make it even better than last year. This round-up of our favorite Thanksgiving hosting pins on Pinterest will give you some great ideas for making this year’s celebration one to remember:

Get Your House in Order

Have you ever deep-cleaned your house the week before hosting a party, only to find that those few days of normal life leading up to the party left your house looking disheveled again? We found a pin called “10 Tiny Steps” (originally posted by The Kitchn website) that provides a perfect solution for this problem. The pin features an easy checklist of things you can do in the hour before your event to make sure your house still looks freshly cleaned and to ensure that nothing distracts you from your hosting duties. Here are some of our favorite checklist items:

  • Your guest bathroom should look as clean as your kitchen. You can make this happen by wiping down the mirrors and plumbing  fixtures, ensuring there is a good stock of toilet paper where everyone can find it, and lighting a subtle, festive-smelling candle an hour before guests arrive. (Just make sure to blow it out if small children are on the guest list)
  • Clean out the trash cans just before the party starts. Empty trash cans set a great first impression of cleanliness and prevents overflow during the party.
  • Organize a music playlist that will run for the entire party, so once you hit play, you won’t have to worry.

For other items on your last-minute, house-ready checklist, click here:

A Place at the Table

Décor really sets the mood for a party. Thankfully, decorating for Thanksgiving dinner is something you can do days or even weeks in advance, so you won’t have to stress about it at the last second.

One décor item that really sets an event apart is a place card for each of your guests. It adds a nice finishing touch to your Thanksgiving place settings.  We found a pin from the Elements of Style blog with several beautiful ideas that you can easily order or make at home.

Our favorite place card idea was DIY gold leaves — you take large leaves, spray paint them metallic gold and then write each person’s name on the front with beautiful lettering in permanent marker. They are easy to make and provide you with a classy, reusable décor option. If you’re not comfortable doing the writing yourself for any of the place card ideas, there’s still time to hire a calligrapher on Etsy to do the writing for you!

To check out the other place card ideas, click here:

It’s Turkey Time

When it comes to planning Thanksgiving dinner, knowing how much food to prepare can be really tricky. You definitely don’t want to prepare too little, but sometimes having too much can also be an oversight. Avoid both extremes by answering these important questions:

  1. Exactly how many people are coming to my dinner? (add 1 or 2 spots just to give yourself a buffer in case someone decides to come last minute)
  2. Do I have room to store leftovers in my fridge?
  3. Will my family even eat the leftovers?
  4. Will other people want to take leftovers with them?

Now check out this nifty pin we found called “How to host the holidays like a pro” (originally posted on the Yellow Bliss Road website). It has a chart breaking down the food-to-person ratio, making sure your “just enough” (and then some) are covered.

Click here to see the chart:

Mischief Managed

Take a big group of excited kids, put them at a table by themselves and add sugar ― and you have the recipe for a potential hosting. Prevent holiday mischief by planning a round a fun activities to keep the kids engaged during dinner and some prior to the meal as well to get some of that energy out.   

Our featured pin for this section, “Brilliant Thanksgiving Party Games to Liven up the Kids’ Table” (originally posted by My Kid’s Guide) definitely lives up to its name. We especially love the idea of pumpkin bowling! You set up a kids’ plastic bowling set, then let them use small pumpkins as the bowling balls. Since we are enjoying a beautiful Arizona fall, this is an easy activity to get the kiddos outside.

To see the other fun Thanksgiving games, click here:


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