Remember hosting? Yes, you can still do it. It’s just like riding a bicycle, or remembering how to have small talk after 2020. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving IRL this year (as opposed to virtually), here’s how we would make our guests feel at home.
1. Ask About Dietary Restrictions in Advance
Before you interrogate the person with celiac disease over and over whether they loved your Parker house rolls, check in advance about dietary restrictions! That way you can be sure to have gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, or Kosher options for those who need them. (We have a ton of recipes for all of them!)
2. Plan, Prep and Relax
It’s worth reminding you that your guests will have more fun if you seem somewhat relaxed. Truly. So do our make-ahead mashed potatoes. Get as much cooking as you can done in advance (or order our standbys). And if you imbibe, have a drink. We both know you’ve earned it.
3. Drinks First
Speaking of which, make sure your guests also have a drink in hand right when they walk in the door. Sometimes people need a minute to collect themselves before braving a crowd, especially after this year. There are plenty of lovely N/A options on the market these days, and you can set up a pretty bar cart to meet them. It might have a pumpkin punch bowl on it; it might have wine, mixers and pretty little garnishes and cocktail picks. Set out the Luxardo cherries, the candied ginger, the simple syrup.
4. Give Everyone a Job
Does this sound like you?
Guest: “Can I do anything?”
You, harried: “No, no, no, I’m totally fine, I just have to whip the potatoes and the cream and cook those pies and don’t sweat it it’s fine really. HAVING FUN?!”
5. Don’t Leave Conversation to Chance
We guarantee you’re not the only one who’s forgotten how to start a conversation. So have options on that front, too, especially if you need to stymie that one aunt who is going to bring up politics unless you get there first. Designate someone a conversational host, or have a list of funny conversation-starters ready to skim on your phone. (we like “If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what would they be?“) We also love these cute conversation-starter placemats.