Don't stress when hosting your first Thanksgiving
November 18, 2009
It can be stressful to put together your first Thanksgiving feast. Making sure that you have enough room for all of your guests, counting up plates, cups and knives and trying to remember your mom's recipe for candied yams can make the event seem more like a stress-inducing chore than a family celebration.
If you're a first-time host this year, here are a few pointers to make the transition run smoothly. First of all, make sure that your guests will be comfortable. If you don't have a formal dining room, there's no shame in hosting the meal in the kitchen or living room. Just try to keep the space as uncluttered as possible so that guests aren't bumping elbows as the dig in.
Ask your guests for a complete tally of diners. Being short of cups or plates when a surprise date or forgotten relative shows up can be flustering and throw off your table settings. Consider sending out invitations and asking for an RSVP.
Try to stay ahead of yourself, and use the week before Thanksgiving to check as many items off of your to-do list as possible. Go grocery shopping the weekend before and have a plan of attack for cooking the turkey. Enlist the help of a friend or relative who has hosted the meal before and make sure they're on-call for any Turkey Day disasters.