24 Oct Hosting Thanksgiving in Your New Custom Home
There is nothing quite like hosting Thanksgiving in your new custom home.
Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most enjoyable meals of the holiday season. Of course, you want it to be the perfect showcase of your beautiful dream home to family and friends. To make it the special day you have in mind, it is imperative that you plan ahead of time.
We have some tips about how to make the day everything you want it to be while keeping your stress level to a minimum.
Make Inviations Well Ahead
Getting started early on your Thanksgiving Day plan will keep things stress free.
Be sure to invite guests by the end of October. Don’t work on assumptions, make real invitations so they can respond and let you know if they will attend or not.
Plan the Logistics
Here is a checklist that should help the day’s logistics. Work out these details well in advance to make the day go smoothly:
- Determine if you will have a buffet style or sit down whether you will be having a lunch or dinner event.
- If you are doing a buffet, plan the food labels. You can use scraps of paper or something more artistic and fun.
- Plan for the needed platters and serving utensils so you want need to scramble the night before.
- Where do you want to set up the food? Butler’s Pantry? On the dining room table?
- Where will you set up the bar? The butler’s pantry, a kitchen counter, in your outdoor living area? Plan for the needed alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and mixers. Make sure you have small bowls for citrus wedges and olives. Determine the glass items you will need and ice solution.
- Plan seating once you know the true number of guests. Dining room, kitchen seating, outdoor living seating? Will you need additional tables and chairs? Who will sit where? Will you need a childrens table in another room?
This is the perfect time to think about how you can showcase your home’s features. For instance, you can use your butler’s pantry as a showcase for meal prep, or you can use it as the bar and buffett service line. It is an ideal way to show off your formal dining room, but it the number of guests will be more than you can accomodate, use the seating your kitchen island and the outdoor living area. If you need still more seating, consider adding tables poolside to show off this area of your home.
Develop the Menu and Shopping List in Advance
Now is the time to plan your menu. That way you can talk with family and friends well ahead of time about any special menu needs like gluten free or vegan concerns.
The most efficient way to approach your dinner menu your will be preparing is to write down a list of everything you need and prioritize from there. Once you have responses from your invitations, you will have a list of the number of guests attending, including any children that will be present.
Create a written menu for the dinner and create a shopping list of the ingredients you will need. Lable which dishes you can make ahead, those that can be frozen, and those that will requiring be cooking at the last minute. Determine if you will have pre-meal snacks and how you will want to serve them. This list will help to things moving smoothly and your stress level under control.
Write down a schedule for the weeks leading up to the meal so that you can do your shopping for decorations, food labels, food and beverage shopping list items and things like additional tables and chairs without rushing around at the last minute.
It is likely your guests will want to bring something. Work out a plan for what guests can bring to compliment your menu ideas so you can answer the proverbial question “what can I bring.” This is also a good time to ask those who have special meny needs to bring something they can eat that can be shared with other guests.
Some guests may not only bring items for the meal, but also offer to come early and help in the kitchen. Plan for how they can assist in advance to avoid the “too may cooks in the kitchen” challenge.
Think Ahead About Decorations
Work out your decoration plan and make a list of any garlands, wreaths, flowers or candles that you might need. Add them to you shopping plan schedule.
Plan your Music or Entertainment
If you are going to want music to add something to your party, create a Thanksgiving appropriate playlist well in advance. This might be a great project for a teenage family member. You won’t want to think about this at the last minute.
Setting the Table
If your daily routine won’t affect your dining room table or other seating plans, set up the table in advance. Here are some suggestions:
- Be sure you have a table cloth that fits your table
- Get out the china and or dishes and glassware you intend to use.
- Make sure you have the flatware that you will need to accomodate all of your guests.
- Create place cards out of index cards or create Thanksgiving themed items like fake leaves, pumpkins, etc.
Getting Your Home Ready
The day prior, empty your dishwasher and all trashcans. Add temporary trash recepticals by the pool or outdoor living area as needed. Remove any precious breakable items from rooms where guests and especially children will be present during your celebration.
Relax and Enjoy!
With your plan in place, relax and enjoy your first Thanksgiving in your new custom home.