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How To Host A Dinner Party for Thanksgiving

November 10th, 2007

dinner-host-party-thanksgiving.jpgThis is another Thanksgiving-themed article written by Jessica Roop. She did a pretty good job with this one; it explains the tasks and challenges that come with hosting a Thanksgiving Day celebration. For more tips on how to prepare and serve Thanksgiving dinner if you’re running short on time, you can read Jessica’s other article here.

No need to back away anymore from the task of being the official dinner party host in the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration. No need to push the panic button and start calling planners and caterers to do the job for you. Just take a deep breath and read on as the secret to a calm and composed, but effective dinner hosting party is about to be revealed.One approach to Thanksgiving dinner party hosting is to divide the task into the following — guests, theme, venue, menu, and activities. As Thanksgiving is normally a family celebration with some close friends in town, a formal invitation will not be really necessary. A phone call and reminder a few days before the event will be sufficient.The theme of the celebration will tie all the preparations together. When you have already chosen one, the rest will be a breeze as you have already narrowed down your options. Make sure that the music, the decorations, and the menu complement the chosen theme.

Get a clear idea on the number of people who will be attending, after which you can proceed to choosing the place where your dinner party will be held. It may be in your own kitchen, in the backyard, or by the pool. Wherever you decide to hold it, just make sure that the place is big enough to accommodate your guests, and the facilities that you will be needing such as tables and chairs, sound system, barbecue grill, party ornaments, and the like. Keep in mind as well that a venue that is too big may not be suited for family intimacy, which is essential in most Thanksgiving celebrations.

The guests will most likely judge the success of the Thanksgiving dinner that you hosted by the content of your menu. It is very important therefore that you plan well for this particular aspect of the festivities. You can start by listing down the food and the beverages that you will be serving, from the appetizer to the dessert. It is also wise to ask your guests to inform you if they have any special diet needs, as you want to make sure that everybody will have something to eat without catching allergies or getting high blood pressure.

If dinner is a potluck arrangement note the kind of dishes that the visitors will be bringing and just add what else will be needed to complete the meal. Serving alcoholic drinks is fine, but do not forget that along with fun comes a great degree of responsibility. Make sure that you only serve enough so that no one will end up going home drunk after the occasion.

Much of the challenge in hosting Thanksgiving dinners is in keeping the energy high and the action going. Be creative and plan games and activities that will bring everyone together. Singing contests, relay games, card and board games are just some of the activities that go well for all types and ages. You can also choose to hold a program that will showcase the talents of your party guests. Or, if your guests are the athletic type, you can probably hold a special kind of football game rather than merely watching one on television.

As Thanksgiving is an occasion for reflecting on all the events that happened in our lives the past year, you may ask your guests to list down those things that they are grateful for and to share that one important event that they consider a great blessing. Ideally, this should be done after dinner.

A final and probably a very important tip: Being the dinner host does not necessarily mean that your job will be a breeze. Keep in mind that mini-crises may pop up, but that quick fixes are always available. The key is to see the task of being a Thanksgiving dinner host as an exciting project rather than a major chore. Anyway, you can always ask for help if you ever find the job too overwhelming.

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