When it comes to hosting Thanksgiving dinner, do you stick with tradition or do you enjoy a more modern celebration?
Either way, there are plenty of things you can do to host a memorable Thanksgiving dinner this year. Start by prepping your home with fall décor and get the whole family to help clean up ; then, the real fun can begin.
Here are some creative ideas your family and friends will gobble right up!
Make a Fall Centrepiece for the Table
Your centrepiece for the Thanksgiving table doesn’t have to be housed in a vase. Instead, scatter some colourful sugar maple or white cedar leaves across the centre of the table. A cornucopia filled with pomegranates and a variety of squash brings more of the season into your celebration.
Create Seating Labels
Make your guests feel welcome by creating a name label for each place setting. Find a simple template of a turkey online and print your labels. Or, get some bright white paper at a craft store and write each name in calligraphy to add some elegance to the scene.
Label Your Food Items
If you’re serving your Thanksgiving meal buffet-style, make a label for each item. Create label cards in the shapes of pumpkins, pilgrims’ hats or cornucopia. List a few of the ingredients of each item to wet the appetites of your guests.
Put a Unique Twist on Traditional Recipes
Turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, rolls, and stuffing are all traditional dishes on a Thanksgiving dinner table. Why not give a few of them a fun twist this year? Prepare stuffing that includes pears, prosciutto, and hazelnuts or go with mashed red potatoes with a bit of garlic. Your guests may appreciate the variety!
Decorate Your Take Home Containers
One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is enjoying the leftovers later. Ask your children or other young kids at your gathering to decorate the take home boxes with drawings of turkeys, pumpkins, leaves, and others seasonal designs. They can use crayons or coloured pencils for their unique work.
Show a Thanksgiving Classic
While your guests are waiting for the big meal to be served, play a favourite Thanksgiving movie or show. Some ideas include A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Miracle on 34th Street, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Get your guests in the mood to celebrate!
Play an After-Dinner Game
"Pin the feathers on the turkey" is a fun game for restless kids who are digesting their dinners. Use construction paper to make the turkey and feathers. Velcro is great for attaching and removing the turkey’s tail feathers during the game. Provide some sweets to the winners of the competition.
Decorate the Chairs at Your Table
The chairs at your Thanksgiving table are just as important as the table itself. Put some decorative seat cushions on them or make some chair sashes with bright red, silver, or gold ribbon from the craft store.
Purchase Some Turkey-Themed Dinnerware
Try putting a few new items of festive dinnerware on your table. A gravy boat in the shape of a turkey is one option. Salt and pepper shakers shaped like pilgrims or a water pitcher adorned with leaves at the base are other unique ideas.
Send Out Themed E-Invitations
Today, it’s easy to send out creative invitations without buying any stationery. Find a hilarious GIF of a turkey dancing with a pilgrim and include it with the virtual invitations to your Thanksgiving dinner.
Start a Game of Charades for the Adults
Most adults are familiar with the game of charades. It’s a great way to get your guests moving around after a delicious dinner. When you get everyone laughing and having a good time you know your gathering has been a success.
Take Photographs and Email Them to Your Guests the Next Day
Take a lot of spontaneous photographs of your guests throughout the evening. In the next day or two, send your guests the pictures reminding them of the good time they had at your party.
Prepare Tasty Appetizers
A collection of appetizers is always a hit at a Thanksgiving gathering. Some easy ideas include:
- Artichoke Hearts Gratin
- Tomato Bruschetta
- Classic Spinach Dip (and chips!)
- Bacon Wrapped Smokies
- Romano Cheese Crisps
Serve a Variety of Fragrant Coffee After Dinner
Many people think of coffee as the finishing touch to any wonderful meal. You could offer your guests a specialty fall drink, like homemade pumpkin spice lattes. Make tea, soda, and punch available for guests who prefer something else.
Decorate the Front Door of Your Home
Decorating your front door is a way to give your guests a preview of the festive fun to come. You can put up a festive sign, hang a wreath made of leaves, or make an arrangement of pumpkins around your doorstep.
Finally, putting time and creative effort into planning your Thanksgiving dinner can make it even more special for your family and friends. Sometimes just a few simple additions can make a memorable impression.