Alright, so maybe that was a bit cheesy. But if the holidays seem are sneaking up on you and you want to ensure your Thanksgiving goes off without a hitch, this guide to planning the perfect dinner in your apartment just might come in handy. At the very least, it can help minimize unnecessary stress and hassle during the Thanksgiving dinner planning process.
Both physical and mental organization can be key to your award-winning Thanksgiving dinner. If clutter has been accumulating in your apartment, spend some time tidying up and consolidating before you even send out invitations. Once your apartment is in order, break down your Thanksgiving planning duties into manageable categories. Invitations, decor, food, entertainment, and some sort of exercise in giving thanks, should all be accounted for. Then, create a timeline with hard-and-fast deadlines to help you stay on top of planning.
Assess Hosting Capacity
Even owners of spacious houses struggle when thinking about how to comfortably host their guests. For apartment residents, this is almost always a concern. Evaluate your apartment to determine where you can dine and entertain a group of your closest friends or relatives, and cap off the amount of people you invite to the number that can comfortably fit in your space. If your dining room is small, consider moving the table into your living room. If you have an open floor plan, your apartment should feel plenty spacious come Thanksgiving dinner. Also, make sure you have seating, table settings, and food for everyone who will attend.
Set a Menu
The earlier you know what you’re serving for Thanksgiving dinner, the more likely you are to get deals on food and find all ingredients you need. Anything traditional to the crew you are hosting (think turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce) should be made, if possible. If you don’t already know of dietary restrictions and preferences your guests have, find out. Make sure at least two side dishes are suitable for each guest.
As you set your menu, try not to let it get away from you. Your Thanksgiving spread doesn’t have to look like the one you grew up with. Why not start your own traditions? Or ask your friends and family to bring one of their favorite dishes.
Remember Appearance is Key
Celebrating with people whom you cherish is perhaps the most important trademark of the Thanksgiving holiday. But there is something that just feels right about celebrating in a properly decorated home. If you don’t have a lot of time or consider yourself a master decorator, you can take a less-is-more approach. An elegant tablecloth and harvest-themed centerpiece can suffice, since so much time will be spent at the dining table.
Whatever you decide for decor, just be sure to work out important details in advance. If you can, clean and decorate your apartment – including the table – the day before Thanksgiving, you can focus your energy on last-minute food preparations and enjoying yourself with your friends and family.
Use Planning Apps
No matter what sort of planning dilemmas you face, chances are there is a smartphone app that can help you solve them. Thanksgiving-specific and general dinner party hosting apps can help you with everything from seating arrangements and menu finalizing to music selection. There are even apps that, when used with the right kitchen thermometer, can let you know when the turkey is ready for carving. Take a brief look at the options available to you, and download any apps that can help you plan the Thanksgiving dinner you want to have.
Still concerned about making Thanksgiving dinner in your apartment a success? Remember the company of your loved ones are what this holiday is really about. It’s a time to be thankful, and your dinner guests will appreciate your efforts even if you feel your dinner party is flawed. Live Life + Love Life with friends and family in your apartment this Thanksgiving.
Are you an experienced Thanksgiving dinner party host? If you have any tips for planning a comfortable and memorable Thanksgiving in an apartment, share them in the comments!