- To keep conversation flowing, use place cards. Strategically place the extroverts among the introverts.
- Seat yourself near the kitchen so it’s easier to get up and grab any forgotten items.
- If there’s going to be a kids’ table, place their parents nearby so they can help serve their food and monitor them.
- Drape the table with a simple cloth in a rich fall color such as brown or burnt orange. Use cream or white for an elegant touch.
- Decorate the table with pine cones, gourds, acorns, and Indian corn (flint corn). Fill a clear vase or container with any of these items. Tie the corn together with raffia or ribbon, and set it in a wooden bowl for a seasonal centerpiece.
- Plan predinner activities that all generations can enjoy. Options include board games, football, and family slide shows.
- Before dinner, give everyone a chance to express what they’re thankful for. It’s moments like these that can be the most memorable.
- If guests offer to bring something, take them up on it, and have them be specific about what they will bring. This helps you control the menu, so you don’t end up with three sweet potato dishes and no pumpkin pie.
“10 Tips for Hosting Your First Thanksgiving” by Coryanne Ettiene, www.celebrations.com, 8/27/13
“Creative Ideas for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner” by Nicole Scarborough, http://suite101.com
“Six Ways to Host a Better Thanksgiving,” www.delish.com, 2013