Did you get the turkey in the oven? Check. Set the table? Check. Take a shower? Shoot.
Hosting Thanksgiving for the first time? Take a deep breath. You've got this. While it is a huge occasion filled with complicated family recipes, specialty drinks, and conflicting views on the perfect pie crust, it also is a day to spend around the table with the people you love.
In order to ensure you have the time to relax and enjoy the company, implement these six tips to help you nail your first T-Day hosting gig.
Schedule out the entire evening. It won't take the fun out of the whole affair, I promise. Instead, it will give you an idea of exactly how much goes into each portion of the day so that you can be prepared and feel relaxed once guests arrive. Start at the end and work your way backwards. For example, figure out what time you want to serve dinner. That will tell you what time you will need to slide your turkey into the oven. What time would you like guests to arrive? Factor in your food and home prep as well your own shower and self prep so that you are not scrambling to get dressed when you hear the doorbell ring.
How big is your Thanksgiving going to be? Just family? Any plus ones? Are any children coming? You need to know the exact number of people coming so that you can set your table accordingly and purchase enough food and alcohol for everyone.
Pick out the recipes of your Thanksgiving meal that you want to make from scratch. Like your famous chunky mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole. Check off the dishes that your guests will bring and then look over your remaining items on your list. Don't be afraid to buy them! Some things taste better store bought anyways!
Thanksgiving is a huge day to host. So much goes into the preparation and the turkey always takes longer to prepare than you think. Don't turn down help from your guests. If someone offers to bring a dish, accept! Do clarify exactly what they are bringing so that you can check it off of your list. If someone offers to play bartender, that's another task off of your shoulders! Be THANKFUL for the help. Almost all of the time, guests are not asking because they think you can't handle it, they just want to alleviate some of your responsibilities so that you can better enjoy the party.
When guests arrive, they can migrate towards the apps and drink station. Once they have something to sip on, they will settle in quickly and you can finish your last minute prep without stressing.
Your goal on Thanksgiving day is to enjoy yourself with your beloved family and friends. While you did make a perfect game plan, things will not go as planned. Don't sweat the small stuff. If you run out of cloth napkins, break out the paper ones. If you stain your Thanksgiving blouse with gravy, switch it out with your back-up blouse. It's just a day. It's not meant to be perfect. It's meant to be enjoyed.