Everything you need to know about hosting Thanksgiving

Whether it’s your very first time to host Thanksgiving or you are a seasoned veteran, this complete guide will show you what to prepare ahead (days ahead), so you can be ready to greet your guests in full attire and enjoy a day of thanks, family, and food.

the best gifts for the thanksgiving host

Essentials for Hosting Thanksgiving This Year

If you are going to be the Thanksgiving host this year, naturally, you’ll need some extra help to help you make it through the day. We’ve got you covered with all the most important things your home will need for the big day.

Fancier plastic silverware

The easiest and classiest way to save yourself from washing 200 pieces of silverware when hosting a crowd -slight exaggeration but you get the point- is to use classy disposable plastic silverware like this one.

Fancy paper plates

That pile of Thanksgiving dishes can turn into a mountain- quick! These vintage party plates are sturdy, elegant, and save you from a pile of dishes to wash. Hooray!

The kid’s table

Let’s face it, kids aren’t as excited about the Thanksgiving dinner as we adults. A separate table + brown bag table runner + crayons = a happy and joyful thanksgiving dinner. These tables can also double up as extra seating for other holiday parties and football game days! Hut hut!

Butcher paper

This paper is durable and makes an awesome rustic table runner for the main table and a coloring canvas for the kids’ table. Plus, there’s no need to wash any tablecloths. Messes are simply wrapped up and thrown away.

Meat thermometer

Undercooked or overcooked turkey is a Thanksgiving nightmare. Don’t be that host! Use a thermometer to make sure you remove the bird when it reaches 165F.


Turkey cooking kit

Thermometer, baster, oven bags, and twine (for tying the turkey legs), this kit has it all for a tender, perfectly browned turkey.

Carving knife

Durable with top-notch precision on all cuts of meat. Long enough to cut through turkey (of course), brisket, roasts, spiral ham, and pork loins. This turkey carving knife does it all.

Roaster Pan

Want to know the secret to a perfectly crispy golden-brown skin on the turkey? A roaster pan. The roasting rack allows air to circulate around the bird, crisping the skin. It also makes for an easy transfer from pan to cutting board. Don’t worry, the juices will still be in the bottom of the pan for the gravy.

Extra cooking pans

Casserole dishes we’re created for Thanksgiving dinner and no celebration would be complete without them. This 4-piece Kitchen Aid Ceramic Baking Set comes in all sizes necessary for casseroles and bakes with festive colors of Empire Red, Buttercup Yellow, or Onyx Black.

Serving spoon set

Classy and timeless, there will always be a reason to keep a set of nice serving spoons, Thanksgiving being one of them.

Food warmer

Perfect for Thanksgiving hosts to keep pies, casseroles, and dishes warm while the rest finish baking. This food warmer can also double as a way to keep food hot while in route to any Thanksgiving or holiday feast.

Large cooler

Since you won’t have any room on the fridge for drinks, keep a large cooler filled with ice by the drink station.

Containers for leftovers

Make sure no food gets left behind! This 12-piece BPA free plastic container set with snap-lock lids come in different sizes and make great storage for everything from turkey, gravy, potatoes, and whatever else your heart desires.

To-Go Containers

Sending away leftover with guests will bring out your inner classy hostess until they take your good Tupperware. Avoid this mishap with these to-go containers. Any extra can be stored away till next year.

Party game

Party games are a great way to spend time with the family while allowing your food to digest until you are ready for more pie. This one is a favorite around here. We’ve yet to meet someone who didn’t laugh their way through the whole thing!

Charging station

Everyone and their 12-year-olds have iPhones. Avoid a power outage and misplaced phones with this charging station.

Thanksgiving menu meal plan

The most important part of any Thanksgiving dinner is- the FOOD! This Thanksgiving Menu has 20 festive dishes to choose from or make them all!

Cranberry Sauce, Apple & Sausage Stuffing, Homemade Popovers, Oven Roasted Turkey with simple Turkey Gravy, and let’s not forget about the Frozen Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Lattes. You could say this menu has it all!

I’ve prepared everything in a convenient ebook for you with printable recipes, photos to help you know if you are on the right track and even preparation tips. Since it’s a digital book, you’ll receive it within minutes of purchasing so you can get started on your Thanksgiving Day plans right away!

See more about what’s included by watching the video below, or go ahead and pick up your copy of the Thanksgiving Meal Plan recipe book here!

If you are hosting a Friendsgiving meal instead of the traditional Thanksgiving feast, you’ll want to check out my special Friendsgiving menu. I’ve put fun and unique twists on classic flavors that make for a fun “second Thanksgiving” celebrating with your closest friends!

Thanksgiving Menu: Apple Cranberry Stuffing, Maple Glazed Sweet Potato Casserole, Garlic and Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, Perfectly Juicy Turkey, Easy Turkey Gravy, Winter Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing

How to prepare for hosting thanksgiving

After you’ve purchased all the essentials and planned out your menu it’s time to take care of final details!

Grab your hostess outfit and plan out the Thanksgiving time schedule.

With your schedule in place, it’s time to tell your guests when to arrive and when to expect Thanksgiving dinner. If you have family staying at your house, or dropping by early to celebrate, you can keep them happy in the morning with my famous Pumpkin Pancakes recipe!

For your guests who don’t mind helping with the Thanksgiving preparation plan out which dishes are easiest to pass off to someone else. Have those recipes printed and ready along with the tools they’ll need to get the job done.

Sometimes, labeling your baking dishes with post-it notes stating which recipe should be made in them can help clear up chaos on the big day since everyone will know what recipe to make in what pan.

Delegating is one of the most important parts of pulling off a great Thanksgiving dinner and you’ll be sure to make some lasting memories cooking together in the kitchen!

What are your best tips for Thanksgiving hosts? If you’ve done this before, leave a comment with your best ideas about how to make hosting Thanksgiving go smoothly from start to finish! 

August 18, 2018

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