Monday, November 24, 2014

Five Hostess Tips: Thanksgiving Dinner

I just love good parties where I can relax and have good times with family and friends. We chat, we laugh, we eat, we play games... I mean, who would not love that?! I have been fortunate to have friends who are truly amazing hosts, so I enjoy their parties and learn from them. 

In case you forgot, Thanksgiving is in just a few days, and, if it it is your turn to host the party, I have great hostess tips I learned from my friend Mary Ann Sager who is an amazing host, and who just hosted her annual and always delicious and fun Friendsgiving party last Saturday. 

Plan ahead. Create a to-do list and spread out each day's activity.
Three weeks before the party: plan the menu, put together the guest list and send out the invitations. Two weeks before the party: prepare china, silverware, linens, plan the games, plan a detailed cooking schedule and grocery shopping list. One week before the party: decorate, buy and arrange the flowers, stock the bar, do the grocery shopping, and start preparing dishes that can be made ahead of time. 

Decorate. Set the mood with warm lighting, soft music, and beautiful centerpieces and fall vignettes.
Turn lights a couple degrees lower than usual and light up a few candles ~ the glow of candlelight creates welcoming atmosphere! I love the pumpkin spice candle Mary Ann uses. The pumpkin spice scent mixed with delicious smell of cooking will make everyone feel cosy and welcome.
When planning the menu, keep it simple and stick to your signature dishes. 
There are many reasons you should cook your signature dishes ~ they are easy, they are delicious, and your guests are surely looking forward to taste them. And, if you are still determined to make something new, stick to one new dish, no more. 
Always have a few games planned. 
We often forget how much we all love playing games, and Thanksgiving trivia questions (herehere, and here) are a lot of fun for kids and adults. Make sure to prepare cute little gifts for the winners.

There can never be a good party without a happy host! 
Hosting a party is stressful, but we do it because we enjoy it very much. So, to help yourself stay calm, and feel fresh and happy, you must have good helpers (like your honey or kids or good friends), delegate different jobs, try to prepare as much as you can in advance, and, most importantly, never feel that everything has to be perfect. 
George and Chanel are loving their spot under the table! :-)
What are your hostess tips? Please share. I would so so love to hear from you!

xo, Zuma A.

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