Remember, your holiday celebration is meant to be just that. A celebration. Keep things simple and you’ll find yourself enjoying your elegant Thanksgiving dinner with ease.

Our simple steps to throwing a Thanksgiving celebration are guidelines to helping you make the best of your holiday evening and enjoy the company of your guests, not worrying about whether the food will be timed just right!
The Basic Idea
Depending on the guests your are inviting, you may consider asking each person to bring something. If you are inviting close friends and/or family, this may be the best route to go. As for you, volunteer to handle the main course. The best way to do this is to prepare a turkey and perhaps some mashed potatoes. The potatoes will take only a little bit of work, but after you set up the bird and put it in the oven, you’ll have a few hours while it cooks to prepare everything else.

For libations, you’re going to want beer and wine of course, but try mixing it up on the cocktails side. It’s the holidays, and while it might be a bit early for eggnog, a hard cider or hot rum punch is always in good taste. Consider having a cocktail of the evening that is both fitting for the season and easy to whip up, such as a Moscow Mule (add a sprig of mint paired with a slice of lime for garnish and extra flair).

Advance preparation (read: spacing out the work to be done) will help you pull off your Thanksgiving dinner with grace.
Prep: 2 Days Before The Party
Having a tidy space to host your Thanksgiving affair will be key, and having everything in the house cleaned and prepped before the party will calm your nerves the day of. So, either recruit a few willing candidates or hire a pre-party cleaning team. Consider purchasing a few holiday scented candles (we love this rich winter forest fragrance from NEST Fragrances in NYC). Bring in some fresh cut flowers for the center of the table. They will open up beautifully in the next two days, just in time for the party. If you’re looking for inspiration for your table or party decorations, check out our Fall Tablescape Inspiration ideas on our Pinterest page.

Now, get everything cleaned up and prepped for company. Make sure the guest bathroom has soap and towels, and make sure there’s space in the fridge for all the incoming food. Depending on the size of your party, be sure to ample wastebaskets around the common areas to save yourself time and work later of cleaning up.

Stock your ingredients and/or check in with your caterer for the evening. Set the table so that you don’t even have to worry about it the day of your party.

If you are throwing a dinner party in a small apartment, we particularly love a post from The Kitchn which can be found here.
Prep: The Day Before The Party
If you will be preparing the Thanksgiving meal yourself, do any food prep you can in advance the day beforehand. This includes brining the turkey, chopping up vegetables, making pies and/or desserts, and any other pre-steps to your Thanksgiving feast. This will save you precious time the day of the party and give you time to relax and mingle with your guests.
Party Day
Relax! If you followed the previous steps, all that is left to be done is putting the turkey in the oven, some final preparations and looking like Superwoman in front of your guests. After all, it will appear as if you put together a lavish, beautiful feast in no time at all. What they don’t know is that you are just a champion at planning in advance. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with us.

– Tara