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How to Host Thanksgiving

Adulting + Hosting Thanksgiving

One of the realities of adulthood I didn’t like all that much has been having to spend holidays away from my family. Moving out to Boston, we knew we couldn’t do everything, but that doesn’t make it any easier! Hosting  Thanksgiving has now become a fun tradition of ours, and something I know that we’ll look back at positively when we’re older.

Hosting Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be hard, it can actually be pretty easy. Today I’m sharing how we’ll decorate our Thanksgiving table, and the tips we use to make the actual day and prep go easier!

Hosting Thanksgiving

How to Host Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving table setting


Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving

Set Your Table the Night Beforehand

Seriously, don’t leave this task for the day-of, it’s just one more thing to do! It’ll be nice to wake up and know that you don’t have that large task to do. It also creates a really inviting atmosphere for your guests when they arrive.

how to host holiday parties

Simple is Best

No need to go overboard showing off your culinary skills, stick to the classics or versions of the classics. It’s about who you spend the day with, and a few key staples that seem to really make a Thanksgiving dinner.

Start At Least 5 Days Before

Love this post from The Every Girl, it gives a great timeline of what to do beforehand. This coming weekend really is the best time to get started, so that you’re not running around!

How to Host Thanksgiving

Make it a Pot-Luck

Delegate easy things to your guests! It makes it less expensive, and many people would be extremely grateful! Here are some ideas on what to delegate:

  • Wine/Alcohol — be specific with a type (i.e Moscato & Merlot, not just white & red)
  • Dessert — Pie, pumpkin bread, whatever floats your boat
  • Appetizer — Have someone else bring the cheese plate or the bruschetta!
  • Side dishes — My dad always makes our family’s mashed potatoes, and I know that Matt’s aunts have specifics they always bring, like buns or green bean casserole that can be thrown in the oven really quick before dinner!

Start Things the Day Before

Chop all your veggies, bake all your pies, and make your mashed potatoes beforehand! It’s way easier than doing everything the day-of, and will make your morning a lot more relaxing!

How to Host Holiday Meals

Stick to Two Wines & A Big Batch Drink

Don’t try to go all Mad Men with your bar cart. Seriously, just stick one red and one white wine, and if you’d like, a big batch cocktail of something! These big-batch cocktails are perfect for Thanksgiving, and are under $30 to make!

Have Guests Bring Tupperware for Leftovers

One of the best parts about hosting is the leftovers, but if you’re anything like us last year, it’s a lot! Suggest that your friends bring some of their own Tupperware so they can make Friday lunches for themselves.

Thanksgiving Tablescape

Make Clean-Up Easier by Cleaning as You Go

If your kitchen is anything like mine, there isn’t a ton of counter space, so one of the best tips I have is to clean as you go! I keep the sink full of soapy water and throw things in as I go. When I have a couple minutes, I quickly wash whats in there. At the end of cooking, you’ll only have a few big pans!

Remember This One Thing

Thanksgiving is about spending it with loved ones, and no matter what happens, it’ll either be a really fun event or a really good story. Don’t forget to give thanks for what you’ve got!

Thanksgiving Table

How are you celebrating Thanksgiving? Have you ever hosted Thanksgiving? What are your favorite traditions?



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  • Brooke Blanton

    Have the guests bring their own Tupperware! That’s genius! Why have I never thought of that?? This was such a great post. I don’t have enough room to host Thanksgiving now, but this got me REALLY excited for when I do.

    Brooke Blanton

    • Thank you! The tupperware thing is key… we ate sweet potatoes for like 2 weeks after Thanksgiving we had so much left over!

  • Anna Hubbard

    These are all awesome tips! I’m not #adult enough yet to do this, but I like the idea of having guests bring their own tupperware!

    • Such a helpful idea haha! We’re going to institute it this year!

  • Miss ALK

    Your Thanksgiving set-up looks just lovely!! I’m sure y’all will host an amazing one this year. 🙂 Living out of state, I’ve only spent one Thanksgiving at home with family in the last five years. Ah- growing up!!

    xoxo A

    • Oh my gosh, I’m such a homebody that I’m so amazed that you’ve only done one Thanksgiving at home! I’ve learned that Thanksgiving is about being thankful for God’s gifts, and whoever we are able to spend it with!

  • Rachel Ritlop

    I just did a Thanksgiving tablescape on my blog as well! Your set up came out beautifully, I love your addition of the gold pumpkins!

  • This is a great guide! I love your set up too. We’re going to my hubby’s moms house for Thanksgiving this year and I’ll be making the mashed potatoes.

  • Cleaning as you go is a life saver! There’s nothing worse than a huge mess to clean up once everyone has left!

  • McKennableu

    Great guide! Now I want mashed potatoes. I bet your families recipe is awesome!

  • Paige Rankin

    I love your table setting. That is so cute! I can’t wait for family recipes at Thanksgiving.

    xoxo, Paige

  • Azanique

    This is such a good guide! I definitely think it is easier to set-up the night before.

    -xo, Azanique |

  • Such a great guide to hosting Thanksgiving! My boyfriend and I don’t really do anything for the holidays.

  • I love these tips! Setting the table the night before is so, so smart! I would have never thought of that!


  • I love the idea of making it a potluck! That’s super helpful, especially because all that cooking can be the most stressful part of hosting Thanksgiving 🙂

    Kristen |

  • Ash Neverson

    great tips! I hope to host thaksgiving one day, thanks for sharing!

  • Greta Hollar

    I love how everything is set up! It came out so well.