Useful Tips On How To Prepare for Thanksgiving
Nothing brings friends and family members together like Thanksgiving does, and if you are the host this year, then you will definitely appreciate some Thanksgiving party decorations ideas as well as some tips on how to prepare a delicious Thanksgiving menu.
In order for your party to be a great success, you will have to plan every small detail and make sure that everything is just right when the big moment comes, but luckily for you, we’re here to guide you step by step in your endeavor.
1. How To Plan The Thanksgiving Party
First of all, in order to ensure that everyone will be present, you will need to send the proper Thanksgiving invitations, and the way you do this depends on what kind of party plan you have in mind. For example, you can always go and buy each invitation individually or even make them yourself if you got the skill, but you can also use online services such as Evite. Needles to say, you can always pick up the phone and call each member one by one, as this method works especially well if you want to coordinate the dishes that each guest should be bringing.
Shop for Decorations
After you are done with the invitations, you need to go shopping for decorations! These need to be in theme with the holiday so you should probably keep an eye out for cornucopias, pilgrims, pumpkins, turkeys, Native American symbols and even leaves. The Thanksgiving table needs to be perfect, which is why you should definitely bring out your best silverware and china sets, while certain centerpieces could serve as focal points and enhance the overall look of the table. Make sure not to go overboard though, as excessively large decorations can prevent the guests from seeing each other. Candles and cornucopias are usually the most traditional choices here, but we will tell you more about these later.
Prepare the Menu
The Menu is perhaps one of the most important aspects of the party, which is why it needs to be prepared with great care and attention to detail. You should always have a light salad ready to start off the guests’ appetites. Fruit salads are a particularly good choice, but they should involve seasonal fruits such as apples and cranberries complemented by walnuts and the like. The main course should obviously involve a turkey-based meal or a baked ham as an alternative, while several side dishes such as sweet potatoes, green beans or mashed potatoes could add much needed diversity. Last but not least, the dessert should involve some sort of seasonal pie, such as pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie or even mincemeat pie.
Prepare a Kid’s Table
Kids are just as excited about Thanksgiving as you are, maybe even more, which is why it is a very good idea to prepare a mini-table just for them. You can decorate their table with small games and crayons and even tasty fruits, while their plates should feature little cards with their names written on them in order to make them feel special.
Label the Dishes
Make some leaves out of parchment-paper and label your dishes accordingly so that each and every guest knows exactly what he is about to eat. On a general basis, some might be allergic to certain foods or require special treatment, which makes labeling an even more appealing idea.
Create Incredible Placecards
Your guests will definitely appreciate it if you put the time into creating some stunning place cards for each and every one of them. You will need a standard picture of every guest that you can photocopy before applying a piece of card stock on its back. Now you can trace the contour of each guest with great accuracy using an X-Acto knife. Finally, in order to make the picture stand vertically, you can insert a small part of it into an apple or a pear by making a small incision in the fruit.
Think Outside the Box
You don’t always need to spend a lot of money on materials in order to create Thanksgiving decorations. If you are running out of time, you can just use whatever you can find around the house or in the near vicinity. For example, gather some pinecones and find some pieces of silk ribbon! You can glue the silk pieces to the bottom of the cones using hot glue and stagger the bunch together so that the cones fall at different lengths. Tie the ribbons in a knot, trim the tips and you got yourself a gorgeous Thanksgiving decoration.
Don’t Bake If you Can’t Afford It
Rather than doing a rushed job and ending up with a ruined pie, you’re usually better off with phoning a good pastry shop and buying a professionally baked product. Don’t worry, nobody is going to judge you for it, especially if nobody knows (*wink).
Resurrect Old Games
Instead of going to sleep with a full stomach on Thanksgiving night, you should bring out some classic board games or cards and spend some quality time together with family and friends. Kids will definitely enjoy this particular activity.
Buy Doggie Bags
There are always plenty of leftovers after Thanksgiving dinner, but instead of throwing them away or filling up your entire refrigerator with them, you can pack them nicely into small doggie bags and let your guests go home with a delicious little snack for the next day.
2. How To Make Your Own Thanksgiving Party Decorations
Since the Cornucopia is perhaps one of the most popular Thanksgiving table decorations, we thought it would be fitting to tell teach you how make your own. We’re going to focus on the Bread Dough Cornucopia more specifically, since it also involves a bit of baking. First of all, you’ll need to roll an aluminum pizza pan into a cornucopia cone shape, as this will ensure that your bread looks the part. Now you have to spray the outside of the cone as well as a cookie sheet with some vegetable oil. Roll the thawed bread dough so that it is about 1/4 inch thick and cut it into 1-inch strips. Start wrapping the strips along the point of the pan in a spiraling motion until the entire cornucopia shape is covered in dough. Now cover it all with a tea towel and leave it like this for about half an hour.
In the meanwhile, you should preheat the oven to 350 degrees and beat an egg in a bowl as if you were preparing an omelet. Remove the tea towel and paint the dough surface with the egg using a brush. Now you should bake the cornucopia for about 20 minutes, take it out, cover it in aluminum foil and bake it for 15 more minutes. Afterwards, reduce the temperature of the oven to 300 degrees and leave it in to bake for another 10 minutes.
After the bread has cooled off on the outside, you can remove the aluminum shape and let it cool off on the inside as well. Finally, you can place the cornucopia on a plate and decorate it with nuts on the inside before presenting it as a Thanksgiving table centerpiece.
Scarecrow Door Hanger
There are a couple of things that you will need to procure for this project, such as an 18-inch straw hat, a 12-inch straw hat, a hot glue gun, some scissors, a ruler, raffia, silk sunflower blossom, 6 inches black rickrack and excelsior.
Take the large hat and lay it on a table with the dome up. Now take the smaller hat and cut it in half, apply hot glue to the dome edge and place it on the large hat’s dome head just above where the face is going to appear. Now apply hot glue under the right and left sides of the small hat brim and put some excelsior in each patch of glue in order to form the hair. You will now need 1-inch triangles cut from different felt colors. You will glue one triangle to the center of the face and the other two just 1/4 inches above the nose and 1/4 inches apart. You can make these measurements using the ruler. Now put some hot glue on the back of the rickrack and put it on the face in order to create a dashing smile.
About 8 strands of raffia should be enough to make a nice bow. You should glue this bow right underneath the scarecrow’s face. For a final touch, a sunflower blossom glued to the brim of the small hat can do wonders.