Party Planner Thanksgiving Dinner
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A Dinner Worthy of Thanks1 of 11
By Amy Elisa Keith
This is your year to host the family for a memorable Thanksgiving feast. With a week to go until the big day, don’t get stressed, get organized! Here are ten party planning tips to throw a seamless holiday dinner that you’ll be truly thankful for.
1. Make a To-Do List2 of 11
Lay out a plan of attack with the following: menu, shopping list, drinks (3-4 options are best), cleaning entertaining spaces and, of course, cooking. Plan to cook over a two-day period so that you’re not up late in the kitchen the night before. Your to-do list is your entertaining bible, so take time laying it out.
2. Shop Smart3 of 11
After creating your shopping list, hop in the car to get shopping. Buying seasonally not only guarantees fresh foods, but also saves money. Take time to price compare as many stores will have sales on staples like cranberry sauce, stuffing, and turkeys. Your wallet will be happy that you didn’t wait ‘til the last minute to shop. Plus, you’ll have more cash for those after-Thanksgiving sales.
3. Take a Kitchen Inventory4 of 11
Take a few minutes to go through your kitchen to take stock of what you have. Look for serving platters, roasting pans, skillets, enough dishes and silverware for all of your guests, wine glasses, and those fussy things we often forget like can openers and gravy boats.
4. Set the Table Early5 of 11
This is something my mother taught me to do before all of the parties she threw. Setting the table days before not only allows you to cross something off of your to-do list, but it also gets you thinking about anything else you may need or special touches you would like to add to the feast.
5. Create a Signature Style6 of 11
Just because you’re with family, doesn’t mean that this dinner has to be like all of the rest. Spice things up by creating a signature cocktail like a Baileys Caramel Appletini or creating place card holders with mini pumpkins. Those special touches are great conversation starters.
6. Make a Playlist7 of 11
Have one of the kids whip up a playlist on the iPod and connect it to your home stereo. No need to be too cheesy, but music can set the tone for a fun, homey holiday dinner. Our picks include songs by Rene Touzet, Miguel, Les Nubians and Jack Johnson.
7. Think About the Extras8 of 11
A true hostess thinks of everything, or at least she tries. Don’t forget to stock up on enough paper towels for spills, extra toilet paper in the bathrooms, ample Tupperware, foil and plastic wrap for doggie bags and be sure to DVR all of the football games. Don’t want dad to miss out on the Bowl games.
8. Encourage Guests9 of 11
Don’t be afraid to get your guests involved. Encourage them to bring either a dessert, bottle of champagne or wine. Stick to one of these and tell all of your guests to bring something to contribute to the meal.
9. Arrange Centerpieces10 of 11
Gather together some of the seasons best to make a fun showpiece. Use pumpkins, squash, acorns and other long-lasting items to create a centerpiece days before the event. Like the other tips, by doing a little every day you will arrive at Thanksgiving stress-free.
10. Give a Parting Gift11 of 11
Give your guests a farewell gift to remember the evening. A parting gift is another warm touch to make your feast stand out. A few suggestions include small loaves of pumpkin spice bread that you baked and packaged, apple cider candles or the recipe to the signature cocktail printed on a small notecard.