November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Week: Hosting

This week I am doing a mini series on Thanksgiving. I have some fun topics planned so let’s get started!

Thanksgiving Week Hosting

I love hosting things at our house. I’m not always a great hostess but I love planning and decorating. We decided to host Thanksgiving at our house again this year and I’ve been thinking about things that I can do to make the day go smoothly.

In the days before…

Stock up on menu ingredients. All of the stores are having great sales for the holidays so stock up. Some of the good sale items are often canned vegetables, broth, breads, and desserts. All items you will most likely use on Thanksgiving day.

Take stock of your dishes, utensils and napkins. Are you going to use paper and/or plastic or will you use your fine china or everyday dishes? Make sure you have enough to accommodate your guests. If you are using your fine china, pull them out of the cabinet and make sure everything is accounted for and wipe down everything that may have collected dust. If you’re using cloth napkins, check to see if they need to be laundered.

Clean out our refrigerator. You’re going to have to have room to keep cold items that you’ve prepared and items your guests might have brought. Go through and dump out all of the old leftovers. Do you have fruits or veggies that are mushy and/or moldy? Throw those out. Also, check all of your condiments, bottles and jars, and check for expiration dates. Throw out anything that’s expired. Once you’ve removed everything, wipe down the shelves and organize what’s going back into the refrigerator so that you have space to store those Thanksgiving dishes.

A day or two before, prepare any dishes that you can so you aren’t in the kitchen all day. Desserts and casseroles are great items to prepare ahead. Now that you have cleaned out the refrigerator, you have room to store these items!

If you’re using folding tables and chairs, get those out of storage and clean them up. Make sure you have enough to accommodate everyone…try to borrow if you come up short.

The day of…

Before guests arrive, pull out all your serving dishes and have them ready to go. Set up your table(s) and chairs and do any last minute tidying up.

When guests arrive, for those that want to help, assign tasks and make sure to have all the necessary tools out for them to use so you’re not having to tell people where everything is located.

If you decide to go with real dishes, do a quick clean up after everyone is eating and run the dishwasher so you don’t have stacks and stacks of dishes to wash when everyone is gone.

Last but not least, enjoy your day and remember to be thankful for all you have!

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