Thanksgiving Part I

Hosting Thanksgiving? Relax. Whether or not you were volun-TOLD for the task, being the consummate Thanksgiving host is easier than you think. Here are some tips to focus your efforts and put your mind at ease so that you can positively engage your guests:

  1. Send out your invitations early, remembering that out-of-towners always appreciate a little more time. A personal phone call or printed invitation is always ideal, though, these days, a lovely worded email is efficient and makes sense if you’re running short on time.
  2. Be gracious when someone inevitably wants to bring along a friend, even at the last minute. Thanksgiving is a holiday that encourages good will and friendship, so pull together another place setting and be hospitable.
  3. Create a menu with enough variety to (try to) please everyone and accommodate any food restrictions. Although the onus      is on a guest to inform her host of any restrictions, a good host will make every effort to be well informed.
  4. Organize your tasks such that you’re not slaving in the kitchen, but instead able to spend time with your guests.  Not everything needs to be from scratch, and it’s perfectly acceptable to accept someone’s offer to bring something.  We may all want to be Martha Stewart but we don’t all have her team to help us!
  5. Exhibit grace and say a simple “thank you” when complimented. No one needs to know that you forgot to add something to the pie. Similarly, no one needs to know that you’ve been up for four nights prepping this, cleaning that or baking everything from scratch.  Your efforts will speak for themselves!
  6. Be considerate and remember that your guests are just that and should enjoy themselves. You wouldn’t want to feel obligated, or compelled to help out, right? Now, if they offer to help, that’s a different story.
  7. Govern your time well. If you ask guests to arrive at a certain time, you shouldn’t be sitting down to eat a few hours later      because you failed to calculate the turkey’s cooking time properly.  Now, oversights happen, (like forgetting to turn on the oven), but a little humour will keep your guests entertained and patient.
  8. Raise your glass and thank your guests with a toast.  Remember the 3 Bs of toasting: Begin, be brief and be seated!
  9. Leave the dishes alone and spend time with your guests. Dishes can wait.  Guests should not.

At the end of the day, your goal is be create a memorable meal and ensure your guests have a good time. The rest is just gravy.


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