With the Holidays looming just around the corner and the smell of pumpkin, spices, and bonfires filling the air, it's time to start thinking about planning your Thanksgiving dinner. This can be a overwhelming prospect, especially if your family is large (as most Southern families are) or if it's your first time hosting!
With all great events and gatherings, the first thing to do is start by making a list! You should have TWO lists. One for how many guests will be attending and another for dishes. Of your guests, notate which ones will be bringing a side dish or something to share. It's ok if someone doesn't! It's also ok if someone brings more than one dish - just make sure Aunt Carol's famous mac & cheese isn't going to compete with your cousin's also famous mac & cheese. While there's always room for leftovers and take-homes, no one wants Thanksgiving ruined with the great Mac & Cheese war of 2018. Having a list of different dishes can allow you to "suggest" what to bring and possibly head off any diplomatic disasters.
In the South, Thanksgiving moments are often surrounded by years of tradition, customs, and recipes that are passed on from generation to generation. Incorporating these traditions into your Thanksgiving planning can be fun and something to look forward to every year! When you're sitting down to plan out your meal ask yourself "What are some must have traditions that I want to bring to our Thanksgiving table?" If you have children, start thinking about how you can include them in on these traditions. Maybe there is a certain meal the kids can come together to help make. If you don't have any particular tradition unique to your family or perhaps you have some from both sides of the family, consider starting something new and fun that you can look forward to every year.
Planning is a big part of pulling off a successful holiday dinner. By taking the time to organize your lists of guest, food, and activities you can get a great head start into having a wonderful time with friends and family.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving season!