How To Host Your First Thanksgiving

How To Host Your First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and good food. But the prospect of hosting your first Thanksgiving can be intimidating. From figuring out what dishes to serve to setting the perfect table, there's a lot that goes into hosting the perfect holiday meal. But don’t worry—we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll show you how to host your first Thanksgiving with ease, from planning the menu to setting the perfect Thanksgiving table. So, let’s get started!

Thanksgiving is coming up and hosting for the first time can be nerve-wracking! Making the actual dinner takes time as it is, but then there's several other concerns that come to mind. What to wear? How to decorate within a budget? Should you play music?

We've got all of the answers to these questions and more below! 



Hosting your first Thanksgiving will be fun and easy with these tips!
Crazy Frankenstein


Since it's not Halloween, don't stress about going crazy for decorations for Thanksgiving. This holiday's decorations are all about a soothing atmosphere. Line your bathroom counter with candles for a peaceful vibe and scatter cinnamon, pumpkin, and apple scented candles around the house for an aroma that feels welcoming to your guests. 

As far as decorations go, fall flowers and branches within a bouquet make great table center pieces. Hang a pretty wreath on your door to set the fall mood and invite your guests to decorate pumpkins after dinner for a fun activity with the kids. If you carve any designs into the pumpkins (it doesn't just have to be for Halloween!), you can even toast the seeds in the oven afterward. 




Music is never a bad idea! After all, it's one of the things that a lot of people are grateful for on this holiday. The key tip to playing music at Thanksgiving dinner is to make sure it's not too loud. While there are plenty of Thanksgiving related songs, some feel-good, mellow background music like Jack Johnson, Hall and Oates, and John Mayer will be pleasing to almost every guest. Make a playlist that's a few hours long, or just put it on a loop, so you don't need to keep going back to change the songs.


What to Wear

Hosting your first Thanksgiving? Keep the dress code casual!


Pro tip: Don't wear the same outfit to cook dinner as you will to actually wear for dinner- you WILL ruin it. Since you'll most likely start cooking early in the morning (unless you're going the takeout route), start in comfy clothes and then switch into your dinner outfit. My family is usually casual for Thanksgiving dinner, but some people like to dress up for the occasion. No matter what you decide, make sure to inform your guests ahead of time, so nobody shows up in jeans and a flannel when they're expected to be more formal (and vice versa). Stick with neutral, warm colors to go with the fall season and invite guests to dress according to a theme! 

For a casual outfit, a pair of jeans with a flannel layered over a t- shirt or a blouse is a great option. If you're going for formal attire, wear slacks and a button down flannel or a sweater dress to stay toasty warm. Go for colors like burgundy, burnt orange, maroon, denim blue, crimson red, and deep violet to incorporate into your clothing and accessories.


What to Make

There are literally endless options of foods to make for Thanksgiving, so start brainstorming now! If you have some cherished recipes from family members or friends, remember to ask for the ingredients before you go food shopping. You can find some unique Thanksgiving recipes here for some new ideas to amp up your foodie status. 

Since it's your first year hosting and it'll most likely be your family and friends coming, don't hesitate to ask for each person to bring something to drink, a Fall dessert, or a side. This will make cooking a whole lot easier on your part, and since you're hosting don't feel bad about asking guests a favor! Most people will already show up with a food item, but it's helpful to know what they plan to bring ahead of time, so you don't make ten of the same thing. Although if it works out like that, at least there are more leftovers!



Fast and easy tips for hosting your first Thanksgiving.


If you want to be a bit more formal with Thanksgiving dinner, feel free to send out cute invites! You can cut down on cost and time by sending a simple e-invite online from a variety of websites like Evite.

Be sure to include the time that you want guests to get there- you should have dinner mostly prepared by this time and have it served within an hour or so of your anticipated guest arrival time. You should also indicate the type of dress if you plan on having a certain dress code- "casual," "semi- formal," or even "dressy casual" are the typical options you might choose for Thanksgiving dinner. If you leave off a type of dress section on your invitation, it's usually assumed to be casual.


Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? What are your tips for first- time hosts? Let us know in the comments below!


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About the Author

Kelsey Foster

Hey there! I'm currently a Fashion Business Management student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. I love to read, write, and travel, and I love anything music and art related!