How to Host Thanksgiving Dinner

Ready to host Thanksgiving dinner? Make sure you follow these 3 easy tips from the Domestic CEO.

Amanda Thomas
4-minute read
Episode #35

Thanksgiving dinner is a true American tradition and hands-down my favorite holiday. When I was 22, I hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner. I had just moved to Phoenix from Minneapolis, and was feeling a little homesick. Luckily, my sister lived in Albuquerque at the time and she accepted my invitation to come join me for Thanksgiving dinner. Even though it was just going to be her, my nephew, and me, I was thrilled that I would have a little piece of home for my first holiday away from the Midwest.

How to Host Thanksgiving Dinner

In spite of the small list of attendees, I went all out with my menu. Not only did I fully commit to the spirit of the holiday and buy a whole turkey, but I made potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, broccoli, stuffing from homemade croutons, and even a homemade apple pie. I made so much food that I had to eat leftovers for the next 6 days, but I was officially hooked on hosting Thanksgiving Dinner. I’ve hosted people at my home almost every year since then.

Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, or are a seasoned veteran, today’s tips are lessons I’ve learned from years of experience and are guaranteed to make your holiday a success!

Tip #1: Invite Early

The key to a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner is to plan early. Once you commit to yourself to hosting, the first thing you need to do is invite every single person you want to come to your dinner. Even if your friends and family are spur-of-the-moment types, they very likely commit to their Thanksgiving dinner plans by the first week of November, so start putting your feelers out there ASAP. And don’t make assumptions, actually invite. Just because you mentioned to your best friend that you are hosting dinner, doesn’t automatically mean she’s coming to your event. You still need to formally invite her so she doesn’t accept another invitation because she doesn’t want to crash your dinner.

On the flip side, don’t assume that your friends aren’t able to make it simply because their family is close by. It is more and more common for baby-boomer parents to hop a flight to visit their siblings in another state, leaving their kids behind to fend for themselves on Thanksgiving. Invite anyone and everyone you would want to have at your dinner, and then let them tell you if they can make it or not.