Thankgiving is around the corner and, before you know it, your house will be full of guests. It’s easy to get stressed about dry turkey, mismatching dishes, and making sure the house is clean, but it’s important to remember to enjoy the process.
Here are five tips to keep things simple and reduce your hostess anxiety while throwing together the perfect Thanksgiving celebration.
1) Stick to the classics
As tempting as it may be to put your own stamp on Thanksgiving dinner, people look forward to that annual meal for a reason — because the classic dishes are flipping DELICIOUS.
Turkey, pie, and casseroles galore — that’s what people crave on the fourth Thursday of every November. It’ll require less planning on your part if you stick to the dishes you’ve already mastered. And realistically your guests will probably relieved to see their favorites on the table.
2) Add some flair
While the classic Turkey Day dishes are the most reliable bet, it’s always fun to add a little flair to your get-together. There are a ton of quick ways to throw something new and special into the mix, whether it’s a festive cocktail (there are some AMAZING recipes on Pinterest) or special dessert.
If going above and beyond your usual recipes makes you feel anxious then considering looking to your friends and family for help. I’ve found that guests genuinely want to contribute to the occasion — so let them (just like I let a friend bring this awesome bread cornucopia that I’m definitely not talented enough to make myself)!
3) Make room
“The more the merrier” can be a little overwhelming when it comes to cooking and finding seats for a ton of people. BUT when it comes to family and good friends, it usually ends up being the most fun and rewarding to make room.
It may mean a adding a fold out table with a plastic table cloth that doesn’t match, but who cares when you’re surrounded by people you love? Plus more people in attendance means (hopefully) more contribution to Thanksgiving dinner!
4) Create a festive environment
Nothing gets people in the holiday spirit like festive decor! Creating an autumnal and/or wintery environment is a fun way to add a little “oomph” to your celebration without adding things on your to-do list on Thanksgiving day (which is already busy enough).
I like to use small pumpkins, pinecones, acorns, and fall-scented candles in different areas of my house to keep the festive vibes consistent in any space my guests may spend time.
5) Don’t take the day too seriously
If you have a “perfect hostess” personality then hosting Thanksgiving can become really stressful at the drop of a hat. Of course, we want our guests to have a feel relaxed, enjoy our food, and have a great time, but you deserve to have those things as well! Be willing to accept offers of help, don’t fret over every detail, and remember that time spent with family and friends is what will make your day truly wonderful. Your guests will be grateful for whatever you pull together. Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude after all!
Select photos by Jen Milla.