My hubby and I have hosted Thanksgiving since before we were even married. If you follow my blog regularly, you know it’s my most favorite holiday and my most favorite party to throw! Because we’re in LA we often end up with 20+ guests who don’t have family local, so I do my best to make them feel at home with us. I try to make everything from scratch and put special touches into every part of the day. Paying attention to the little details is what makes all the difference in throwing a great party so I carry that idea into my holiday entertaining as well. That being said, over the past 12 years of hosting, I have come up with a few sure fire ways to keep myself calm and make my life a little easier….because the number one rule of being a good hostess is having a good time yourself! If you’re not having a good time, your guests surely won’t either! Here’s a few of my tricks.
1. Preparation is key. Start right now. We’re a week away so you should be finalizing your menu, making shopping lists, and crafting anything you’ve planned to craft. Be sure to choose a menu that you’re totally comfortable with. It’s not really the time to try a new recipe. Stick with the things that you know you’re good at.
2. Serve appetizers that don’t need to go in the oven or on the stove. Make a fun cheese ball or cheese platter, shrimp cocktail or deviled eggs. Or check out this list of crostinis on Food Networks website. Or you can even just keep it really simple and put out a few bowls of fancy nuts and chips and call it a day. After all, no one is there for the appetizers….it’s called “turkey day” for a reason folks! Whatever you do, keep your oven free!
3. Set up a self serve bar. This year, I’m making an apple cider punch so my guests will have a fun cocktail that I don’t have to serve them. I’ll also have a large ice bucket with wine, beer, and a few non-alcoholic selections. This way I’ll be free to prep the main attraction.
4. Set your table at least 2 days in advance. I typically set my table on Monday night and just add any fresh flowers on Wednesday so they’re nicely in bloom for Thanksgiving day. This way it’s one less thing I have to do on Wednesday or Thursday morning, which I leave for all of my cooking.
5. Say yes! When you’re guests offer to bring a side dish or dessert, say yes! You’re good, but you’re not superwoman…ok, well you’re still superwoman for hosting such a big holiday…but take the help where help is given. It will give you some sanity to cross something off your to-do list.
Remember to have fun and enjoy the day! No one wants to be at a dinner party where the host is crazed and stressed nor miserably tired because of how much work she’s done. If you prepare and use these tips, you’ll be golden! Gobble Gobble my friends!