Thanksgiving Party Ideas Every Host Should Keep In Mind As The Holiday Approaches

Thanksgiving isn't a long, politically tumultuous early bird dinner special for everyone. For some people, Thanksgiving is a party — yeah, it's actually fun! Whether you're hosting your friends, taking the reins on your family's traditions or having a night-before pre-game party, there are plenty of Thanksgiving party ideas that'll help you ease your hosting duties and make the night a foolproof win for all. Hosting doesn't need to be a headache.

Because you're an adult now, you're going to want to stray from snack tables comprised of bags of chips poured out into mixing bowls, unrefrigerated beers spilled into red plastic cups, and non-commericial-free music playlists that break the flow of the party with ads for car insurance. It's time for some real cups and unprocessed cheeses and premeditated playlists. It's time for some scented candles and coat racks. Yes, part of adulting is putting in the efforts to make others comfortable and welcomed in your home. But don't be nervous, it's not that hard to play adult. It just involves a little bit of pre-planning and anticipating.

Here are a few simple and inexpensive ways to get your turkey day party started without losing your head or leaving your guests bored or hungry.

Greet Everyone Individually


If someone is willing to spend their Thanksgiving day with you, you should make them feel as welcome as they are. Whether they're a plus one you've never met, a relative you haven't seen in a decade or a friend you see all the time. Make sure you take the time greet them, welcome them to your home and thank them for coming.

Make Sure There's Enough Booze


You're not trying to get your guests sloshed, but you don't want there to be an awkward lull where the booze runs out and your guests start making plans to go elsewhere. Don't worry about over-buying alcohol, just make sure you store it properly. If there's too much, you can always find a use for it later, or gift it for Christmas. You're better safe than sorry, especially in the wine and spirits department.

Serve Water

On that note, make sure there's a ton of water and non-alcoholic beverages handy. You don't want your guests to get headaches, dehydrated, or too saucy. Keep everyone hydrated and give people the option to chill out of the booze while they eat their meal.

Go Overboard On Desserts


Don't get two pies and convince yourself that your whole party will be satiated. Make sure you have cookies and other baked goods to go around — especially if you want your guests to stick around for a while. If you're stressed about it, let your guests know to bring desserts if they offer to bring anything.

Light A Ton Of Candles


The first thing your guests are going to notice when they walk into your apartment is not how shiny the floor is or how lint-free the couch is, or how festive your cushions are, they're going to notice how your place smells. Get as many holiday scented candles as you can. They'll add some much needed ambiance. (Just put them in safe places and don't burn your house down, obviously.)

Play Albums


Instead of making an old-school playlist where the music jumps around from era to era, make an organized playlist of a few albums. This will help the vibe stay more consistent. That way your guests can get used to one sound and one frequency for a while without being constantly shaken with new sounds.

Pay Attention To Seating


Make sure that you have enough places for all of your guests to sit. In other words, if you have one couch and 12 guests, things are going to get awkward. Borrow chairs, rent chairs, whatever — just make sure that if everyone wants to sit at the same time, they can. You want your guests to feel comfortable and like they can settle in.

Have A Game Ready


Pay attention to the vibe, as a game is not always the best idea. But, if the vibe calls for it — aka, if your guests are feeling lively and spirited — suggest a game that includes everyone! It might be a total party saver if things are getting boring. Consider: Heads Up, Celebrity, Scattergories, or Cards Against Humanity.

Make A Toast


If the mood is right (preferably before meal time) stand up and make a toast. It doesn't have to be long or clever or even sentimental. Merely thank everyone for coming and say something optimistic about the year ahead. This will help make everyone feel like they're part of the same evening. It's also a great time to make any meal announcements.

Chill Out


Do all your planning before the day of the event. The day of you should be as calm, cool, and collected as possible. All of your guests just want you to have a good time, so stop worrying about them. If you took the time to consider all of these things, they'll be more than happy! Find your inner zen and your guests will follow your lead. It's no big deal, it's just a party!

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