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Tips To Hosting A Thanksgiving Day Feast

November 7, 2019

4 Tips To Hosting A Stress Free Thanksgiving Day Feast

Happy November, friends! Can you believe we are officially in the holiday season? This year has flown by, it feels like we were just talking about hosting a summer party! If you’re planning your Thanksgiving Day Feast this year, check out my tips below of ways to keep things stress free and take a few things off your plate (pun intended!)

How to host the best Thanksgiving Day Feast

Ask For Help With Dinner

A classic greenhouse wedding reception at Dos Pueblos Orchid Farm, wooden dinner menu sign

If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving Day feast, the very first thing I encourage you to do is reach out for help with the cooking. Hosting Thanksgiving is a big deal but you shouldn’t have to stress about the menu alone. Consider a potluck and ask each guest to bring his or her favorite dish.  It’ll be a great way to allow everyone to feel involved and to get different parts of everyone’s traditions. Not to mention if someone has dietary restrictions, ask them to bring enough to share so everyone can try. For some organization advice, take a tip from my friend: every year she makes a google spreadsheet so we can see what still needs to be contributed. Or maybe ask some guests to come early to give you a hand in the kitchen and designate specific tasks and dishes. Cooking is way more fun together than alone and you can save some dough.

Pre-set The Table

A colorful and vibrant wedding reception at Triunfo Creek Vineyards, pink and yellow table set up

For a time saving tip, pre-set the table as much as you can. Set out the glassware, plates and silverware. Even the empty serving dishes to make sure there’s enough room for everything you have planned on your menu. Feel free to really get into the holiday spirit with a mini pumpkin on each plate with the guests name. Or add a festive and colorful floral arrangement to the table. Whatever you decide, help your guests get into the holiday spirit as soon as they walk in the door. 

Set Out Self-Serving Appetizers + Drinks

How to host the best Thanksgiving Day feast

Thanksgiving is all about the food and even though most Thanksgiving dinners are scheduled on the earlier side, once guests arrive they’ll immediately want to nibble on something. However, if you’re swamped in the kitchen getting the actual turkey prepared, you can’t be in two places at once. This is where self-serving appetizers and drinks are your savior. Think of a charcuterie board and a large batch of spiked cider. Set up a station for guests to help themselves so they can get cozy and entertained, so you can keep checking that turkey. 


Thanksgiving is all about being with loved ones and giving thanks! As an activity, think of ways guests can express what they’re thankful for. You can go around the table, or maybe place a paper at each seat so guests can write out their thanks and display it somewhere. For more ideas on ways to express gratitude, check out my post here. And don’t forget to enjoy your hard work too. Grab some cider, sit with your guests and relax. The holiday season can be hectic, but use any time you can to relish in the season and have fun!  

I hope these tips helped and you have an amazing Thanksgiving holiday! Stay tuned for an exciting announcement about my podcast, The Local Table!

Feathered Arrow Signature Kari Dirksen

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