Thanksgiving can be one of the more stressful holidays of the year. The stakes always seem so high with family and friends coming from far and wide to gather and express gratitude for one another. If you have never hosted before but have decided to take on the challenge this season, don’t fret! Take a deep breath, use our tips to make it happen, and go for it.

A Novice's Guide To Hosting Thanksgiving

by Mekita Rivas

Thanksgiving can be one of the more stressful holidays of the year. The stakes always seem so high with family and friends coming from far and wide to gather and express gratitude for one another. If you have never hosted before but have decided to take on the challenge this season, don’t fret! Take a deep breath, use our tips to make it happen, and go for it.

Get The Facts
The most important part of your Thanksgiving Day preparation will happen during this step. How many people are coming? Will they bring guests? You’ll want to make sure you have enough seating and flatware to accommodate everyone. Do any of your guests have dietary restrictions? Do you have guests who drink alcohol? Do you have guests who abstain from alcohol? Vegetarian guests? Vegan guests? Will it be potluck style? All of this will matter when you’re preparing the menu. Ask as many questions as you possibly can to get the complete picture of what you’ll need to prepare.


Make The Menu
Save yourself the trouble and make your Thanksgiving menu early. If you’re hosting a large crowd, it will be important to start purchasing your non-perishable supplies early. The closer you get to the day, the harder it will be to find certain ingredients. You’ll also want to choose a turkey based on how many guests you’ll have and how many of them will be eating meat.

Build A Timeline
There’s no time like the present! Right now is a good time to build your Thanksgiving Day timeline. Factor in invitations, RSVPs, shopping, dethawing your turkey, and — of course — cooking! On whatever calendar you keep, plan when you should send invites, when you should have RSVPs, when you want to shop, and when you want to start prepping your side dishes.

Prep Your Home
Having guests over will always create more trash than you normally deal with, so prepare accordingly. Consider moving your trash cans central to the eating area to provide more places to dispose of trash. Make sure your guests are clear on where you place recycling and what qualifies as recycling. You’ll want to purchase extra cleaning supplies like paper towels and trash bags. Keep these in easy-to-find places so you can combat spills and trash piles with ease. And if possible, don’t forget to set the table a couple of days early so you can get that out of the way and focus on the meal prep.

Just Have Fun
Easier said than done, right? Enjoying yourself is arguably one of the more difficult things to do as a host. Responsibility tends to get the best of us, but it’s important to keep the reason for the season in mind. Being the host of an event this large and important will bring a lot of stress. But it will also make your home a place for laughter, stories, gathering, and — naturally — gratitude. If you find yourself getting too overwhelmed, find some time to meditate between prep tasks. Even a few minutes can make a major difference. And remember: Once the food is on the table, you’ve made an event happen that will be remembered for a long time! The only thing left to do? Enlist a few guests to be on the cleanup crew.

Ready to plan the most epic Thanksgiving yet? You’ll need some wine for that! We’ve rounded up a few selections in a Thanksgiving Wine Pack that will provide the perfect finishing touches for the big meal. Our Thanksgiving Wine Pack includes one sparkling wine, two red wines, two white wines, and a dessert wine. We have a limited supply of these, so be sure to stop by soon to get your perfect Thanksgiving wine pairings!