Happy Thursday, it’s the ONE-week countdown to Thanksgiving! For the last few years, I’ve been hosting small and big gatherings for Thanksgiving. I’ll be the first to say I haven’t always been the best host because I had no idea what I was doing. However, every year I think I’ve done a little bit better at knowing what my guests will need. I wanted to share some of the things I try to do to make a comfortable experience for my guest.
Survey Your Guests!
- The first year I did this everyone thought I was CRAZY. But, you know what? It turned into the best thing EVER! When your the host one of the most challenging things to decide is what will be on the menu. If you have guests staying with you, you may also need a rough menu in place for the days that aren’t the actual holiday. By surveying your guests you can find out what MOST people want and how important it is to them!
To Go Containers
- If you are hosting Thanksgiving it’s likely that you will have some guests you want to send leftovers with! This year I ordered disposable to go containers from Amazon.
Clear Shelf Space
For me, this was huge! Clearing off one whole shelf in the fridge and in the cabinet for guests to put their food/snacks they may bring from home or purchase here is huge. I’m kind of a health nut, but I understand that everyone doesn’t eat like me. What bothers me is when there are things I wouldn’t normally buy all over the kitchen counters or grouped in with the normal food. Clearing off space allows them to easily access it and keeps clutter from building up! My SIL and my itty bitty nephew will be here twice over the holidays, it will be good for her to have her own space to store his toddler snacks and food.
This tip comes from my MIL. Make sure you show everyone where things they might need are so they feel comfortable helping themselves. This way you don’t have to get everyone a glass of water when they are thirsty. (I also host so much that I label my cabinets so that things get put away in the right spot.) Things you may want to show them are:
- where they can get snacks
- where they can get drinks
- where they can get cups/plates etc
- how to work appliances like the Keurig etc..
- how to work the shower
- anything else
Consider Paper Plates/Cups (except on the Holiday)
If you don’t want to be doing a million dishes the entire time you have visitors (or make your guests feel like they need to pitch in) then consider using paper plates/cups. You can always get the recyclable kind below if you want to be environment-friendly!
Variety of Drinks
We don’t drink soda or juice in our house, so that can be a little uncomfortable for some guests. Instead, we make sure that we have sparkling waters with many flavors, coconut waters, and kombucha available at all times.
Buy All Food Early
Take the stress off by shopping to get your food 3-4 days ahead of the holiday. This gives you plenty of time to run out for extras and allows you to relax knowing you have most of the things you need.
Defrost On Time
Make sure you defrost your Turkey or whatever meat you’re serving well ahead of time to avoid any additional stress. For every 4-5 pounds of meat it takes 24 hours to defrost, plan accordingly!
Block Off Animals
We have gates to block Nala from the bedrooms so she doesn’t pull peoples underwear out of their suitcases. Whether you have big animals or small animals, guests often appreciate some space from your furr children.
Obviously, you don’t have to make your house into a complete hotel. But the more toiltries and things you can provide in the bathroom the more at home they will feel. Things like shampoos, cue tips, extra towels, etc are always helpful!
What are your tips for hosting during the holidays?