Your Thanksgiving Get-Together

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate! What better way to show that you are thankful for your family & friends than by hosting a Thanksgiving get-together!

Here are a few tips to help determine what works best for your family, budget, and lifestyle!

Buffet or Sit-Down Dinner

The number of guests will most likely determine whether you offer a sit down dinner, or serve buffet style. However, don’t make the mistake in thinking that a buffet is less formal. Either choice can be as casual or formal as you choose. Another thing to consider is the number of children who will attend. If you expect more than a three children, consider setting up a child’s table and keep it free of glass and sharp serving utensils. You may also ask a trusted teen to sit at the children’s table to help serve and entertain the children -for a nominal fee – while adults eat.


Menu options can include family traditions loved by all, such as spiral glazed honey ham served with sliced pineapple, turkey breast, pork roast, leg of lamb, pastas, or green chile enchiladas. Side dishes of mashed sweet potatoes, string bean casserole or homemade cranberry sauce are oldies, but goodies. However, don’t be afraid to try a new side dish or two. Another consideration that can influence your menu is the meal time. If you are hosting a brunch or dinner the following day, you may prefer to serve a sliced turkey sandwiches with cold salads.

Pot Luck or Not?

Pot lucks are a wonderful way to spread the chore of cooking on Thanksgiving. It is also a fun way to allow others to sample a variety of traditions and cooking styles. Don’t feel shy about asking a guest to bring a side dish, salad, or dessert to share. Or assign several people to bring enough of an item, such as mashed potatoes, so you don’t run out. For those who don’t cook, they can bring beverages, rolls, or a store-bought pie.

China or Disposable

If you expect a large crowd, or are hosting an open house, consider using disposable plates and utensils. This is especially important if you don’t have enough settings of real china to go around. You can purchase silverware and plates that look like the real thing and the clean-up will be minimal. However, if you prefer to use the real thing, guests will love the look of an eclectic table. You can use six formal plates and six everyday plates; it is perfectly acceptable to mix and match for a unique setting for each guest. Another consideration is whether you will host indoors or out – depending on the weather in your area.

Dessert Only

With hectic lifestyles and very large families, many people opt to host a dessert -only get-together. This type of setting can offer a casual and relaxing evening for everyone after the busy Thanksgiving Day. If you are supplying the entire dessert menu, let guests know. However, you can also ask everyone to bring their favorite dessert, or a specific type of pie, or topping, such as ice cream, or whipped cream.

The most comfortable homes are those whose hosts welcome their guests to ensure a wonderful time for all!

Do-it-yourself Décor & Centerpieces:

  • Glass bowl filled with small pumpkins and gourds, leaves or cranberries and a candle.
  • Ears of corn tied in a bundle.
  • Cranberries in a glass bowl of water with a floating candle.
  • 6 Mason Jars filled with orange slices, orange colored water or flowers with the letters T, H, A, N, K, S, taped onto the jars.
  • A simple Give Thanks banner made by cutting 10 small squares, putting a letter on each and stringing together with twine.
  • Small pumpkins with guest’s names set at each table setting.

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