How to Survive Your First Thanksgiving Dinner as the Host

You’ve done everything in your power to avoid it. You’ve come up with excuses, little white lies, and even used up your “I won’t be in town” card more than once even though we both know you ordered in Pizza Hut and watched Game of Thrones for the tenth time.

But the time has come, and you’ve been selected to host this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. One of the most important family gatherings of the year where relatives you haven’t seen for months are coming to take a seat at your table to commemorate this luscious holiday.

first time hosSo now what?

Well, the first step is to pour yourself a glass of whiskey to calm the nerves because my friend…

Can’t Spell Menu without Me N U…and Aunt Mildred Who has a Stuffing Recipe that Will Make Your Taste Buds Dance

Turkey. The centerpiece of your table. It needs to be large enough to satisfy all your guests and cooked to perfection. Otherwise, you’ll be incorporated into everyone’s conversations for the rest of the year as “the one who ruined Thanksgiving.”

Don’t be that relative.

Don’t feel like you need to prepare a whole menu alone. So if Aunt Mildred believes her stuffing recipe is what’s going to be the talk of the table, then so be it. This is a potluck holiday, which means all your friends and family should all prepare a dish and bring it along. That way, you won’t be feeling overwhelmed to do everything alone.

Find Out What Recipes Can Be Made The Day Before, And Make Them!

If you’re a busy bee and you’re losing your sanity thinking about how you are going to manage hosting while working a full-time job, there are some steps you can take to ease that weight off your shoulders.


Anything that can be reheated such as pies or casseroles can be made and frozen until Thanksgiving Day!

Here is a list of food that can be made ahead to save you some time.

Set the Table, the Table Rules, and Ban Politics Talk

Once you know how many people are attending, it’s best to set the table the night before. That includes silverware, cups, utensils, and napkins. If you want to add candles or any decoration, this is the time to do it.

Why table rules?

Uh, because you don’t want your Uncle Jim and Cousin Luke going at it regarding topics that are just not convenient for a family dinner. Believe me; nobody wants to discuss immigration laws and how they’ve changed in the past four years when you can be laughing at inappropriate jokes and predicting Jon Snow’s fate in season 8.


If it gets too intense and things spiral out of control, calmly request that they take it outside.

Have Appetizers and Drinks Available in Case the Turkey Needs More Time

If you’re a diehard chef, you probably already got appetizers covered. But if you don’t, then don’t worry. Store bought will work just fine, I promise. Keep in mind that Thanksgiving dinner is a huge meal and there will be plenty of leftovers.

Pass out some drinks to your company to keep them occupied until dinner is ready.

What’s Missing…Other than Your Aunt from Your Mother’s Side Whose Travelling the Globe in Order to “Find Herself”?

Listen, when it comes to that “one last thing,” and whether it’s a pie or bread rolls, don’t feel ashamed to buy it from your local grocery store. If this is what will help you feel more relaxed, then let it be. When you attempt to do everything from scratch, you will not only despise Thanksgiving, but everyone that is present.


We Like Lists Because We Don’t Want to Die

Wise words from a wise man.

Here’s the thing about lists: They’re pretty much the most amazing thing on this planet.

Think I’m joking? I’m not.

Here is an example of a list that can help make this day less… You can keep it in plain sight so you can always see it. They make matters more orderly, and every time you complete a task, you can check it right off.

Most Importantly, Don’t Freak Out!!

My mother took down all the windows in her house the year she was hosting. Believe me; nobody noticed the spotless windows and how squeaky clean they were except for her.

If kids are attending, plan a few activities, or you can even involve them in helping with the setup and clean up.

This is your four day weekend so that grants you the right to overdrink, overeat, and oversleep. We have to overdo it on this day, you guys, as it is our patriotic duty.  Once you’re done with the dinner and everyone’s settled down, take turns on why you are thankful.

Really, it’s a day where we get to remember how blessed and lucky we are and how so many people around the world don’t have the privileges we do.

Once everyone gets up to leave and thanks to you for a great dinner, you can cuddle up under your blankets and convince yourself that you will never host another party again.


By HitchSwitch

About US

HitchSwitch was born of an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to make life easier. HitchSwitch founder Jake Wolff was in his first year at Fordham Law School, where he toyed with the idea of starting a business and hoped to experience his “Eureka!” moment.
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