If you are inviting family and friends over for dinner on Thanksgiving, then you've got a lot on your hands. The stress involved with planning, preparing, and executing Thanksgiving can be a bit overwhelming, so here are five tips for hosting a successful holiday dinner:
Offer Simple Appetizers You've already got a lot on your plate in terms of the food you have to cook and prepare, so skip the fancy appetizers and offer something simple before dinner such as mixed nuts, olives, or a cheese plate.
Don't Test Out Recipes Stick to what works. Even if it's a side dish or a dessert, Thanksgiving is not the time to try out new recipes. If it turns out poorly, then the taste of that failed dish is what's going to stick in your guests' taste buds.
Keep Dietary Restrictions in Mind If you're having friends and family over for Thanksgiving dinner, find out if anyone has dietary restrictions. You may want to have a few alternative dishes available for anyone that's vegan or vegetarian or has dietary restrictions or allergies.
Set the Table the Night Before Even though it may not take that long to set the table, you may find yourself with very little time to do so on the day of—especially if you're the one in charge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Spend some time the night before setting up each place and adding a centerpiece to create a festive atmosphere. You may even want to create a seating chart for your guests to make things more organized come dinnertime.
Ask Your Guests to Bring Side Dishes You can make things a little easier on yourself if you ask guests to bring side dishes or desserts. This way you can focus on the main course. Your guests should have no problem doing this—in fact, they'll be happy to help out. By having them bring desserts or side dishes, you'll make them feel like they had a hand in a successful Thanksgiving dinner.
Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be a lot of fun, but it comes with a lot of pressure as well. Use these tips to help your Thanksgiving dinner go smoothly.