Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year. It is the beginning of the holiday season – when we can share in homemade gifts, pumpkin pie, warm toddies, and drunken family stories. If you’re a newlywed and this will be your first year hosting turkey day at your new home, let me start off by saying “Congrats!”
No matter if you’re from the Pacific Northwest or Southern Florida, hosting your very first Thanksgiving is one of those rites of passage that every wife looks forward to and dreads – at the same time. It is exciting to be able to play hostess to your family and friends. It is also stressful. It might seem novel now, but that’s just because you’re not elbow deep in potatoes and turkey yet.
Thanksgiving doesn’t have to feel stressful though. Victoria at VG Invites has has compiled a list of tips to help you get through the big day.
Choose Some Sides That You Can Make Ahead of Time
Prep all of the food that you can a day before turkey day. Remember that you’ll have a limited amount of oven and stove space. Cooking and/or prepping items that you can easily reheat the day of should save you on time and space when both of those precious things become sparse.
Along the same lines, I suggest that you try out some dishes ahead of time to see if the recipe goes well. Do your research and look up recipes ahead of time, print them out, put them in protective sleeves, and slip them into a binder. Try out different recipes and choose the ones that taste the best and are easy to make.
Timing is Everything!
It is still early so the grocery stores and local farmer’s markets aren’t flooded with people trying to buy items for Thanksgiving dinner just yet. If you can purchase an item ahead of time – I suggest you do so right now.
Don’t Take On Too Much By Yourself
It might feel special to be able to do Thanksgiving all by yourself. It might make you feel like superwoman. However, you have to consider the ramifications and possible setbacks. Everyone wants to help and be involved in the meal. It makes us feel great to be able to contribute.
When asking guests to bring dishes, make sure that you are specific but allow them to make their own decisions. For example, assign your cousin a green vegetable (except green bean casserole, which will be made by your insistent mother-in-law). If you have a friend who wants to help but isn’t the best cook, ask for a dessert (which can easily be purchased), salad, or a bottle of wine wrapped in a festive Thanksgiving label like this one from VG Invites.
Remember the Décor!
I love decorating for the fall: warm colors, various colors of foliage, decorating with produce, and the smell of home cooked meals. Nothing else makes me feel quite as comforted. Decorate with shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown. Arrange produce like apples, pomegranates, gourds, and small pumpkins as centerpieces and bowls all around your home.
While we’re talking about your home, are you a little short on space? I feel your pain. If you’ve got a ton of guests and not enough room at the table, consider serving your dinner buffet-style. It is casual and an easy way to save space. Also make sure to set out simple snacks early on so that people won’t have a tendency of hovering around your small kitchen.
Celebrate the Special Day
Yes, it is your first time playing hostess on Thanksgiving. It is a special time. Don’t feel ashamed if you want to announce it or send special invitations. Victoria has carefully handcrafted special invitations and wine labels for your big day.
The invitation features the words "Celebrating Our First Married Thanksgiving" in green. It also has a vintage and classic background that will go with any Thanksgiving motif you have in your home.
The wine sleeves and gift tag are perfect for gift wrapping if you would like to decorate the wine you are serving with dinner or if you’ll be sending wine home with your guests as gifts.
Both are customizable and are available as PDF files for download so that you can p
Share with us your first Thanksgiving plans. We would love to hear from you.