After much planning and endless preparations, I am finally in the home stretch! Turkey Day is tomorrow and I am actually feeling prepared. Now that I have gone through the preparation process leading up to Thanksgiving Day, I can say that without a doubt the biggest help has been having my master timeline spreadsheet. I am so glad I took the time to write out everything I needed to do in advance of the big day, because it made it easy to reference my "daily chores" and identify what I still needed to accomplish to stay on track. If you haven't made a list, it really isn't too late. There is something about the power of making a list that is extremely helpful and reassuring. So get writing if you haven't already. I promise it will help.
Since my table is set and the majority of my food is prepared, I have a little extra time on my hands to add a few extra touches to my Thanksgiving Day entertaining plans. Below are a few ideas that I will be including in my entertaining this Thursday just to give my party an extra dose of something special and fun.
Typically I am not a fan of table gifts. I feel like the sentiment gets lost because people are distracted by everything else at the table. The gift is typically forgotten about (i.e. left on the table after dinner) and you end up feeling like you just wasted a whole bunch of money and effort on a sentiment that never left the table.
While perusing the aisles on what felt like my millionth trip to Whole Foods, I came across the most adorable little chocolate turkeys and just about fell over when I saw they were on sale for a $1.50/each! Since I have a crowd of only 9 people and tons of wrapping supplies at home, I decided to go for it and make table gifts. To create these little gifts, I removed them from their store packaging, wrapped each turkey in cellophane paper tied with a piece of this gold accented ribbon and a sprig of wheat. They are an adorable addition to each place setting.
Initially, I had put the "kibosh" on the idea of serving a specialty cocktail when my guests arrived because I was feeling overwhelmed by the daunting tasking of cooking the big dinner. This past weekend, while reviewing my Thanksgiving to-do list, I realized that I had the bandwidth to serve a specialty cocktail on Thanksgiving, so what the heck, why not!?!
My plan is to set up a champagne station at my bar on Thanksgiving, so that when guests arrive they will be given the option of either a Champagne Cocktail or Champagne Ginger Cocktail to start. Both cocktails will have the following garnish options: Crystallized Ginger, Fresh Pomegranate Seeds, Sprig of Fresh Rosemary. Ultimately, I think that the specialty cocktail is a fun and festive way to greet your guests as they arrive.
Turkey Cocktail Napkins & Guest Towels
Every party needs a touch of whimsy! It's so easy to get sucked into the notion of trying to create a perfectly elegant evening that can often end up having a "stuffy" vibe. Adding fun/festive cocktail napkins and guest towels can tone down your party just enough to bring back that comfortable vibe for all of your guests. I am totally loving these Thanksgiving Napkins from Caspari (and here are a few other options I was also considering Option 1 & Option 2). If you do opt to use guest towels, don't forget about this guest napkin party prep tip featured in this previous post. I also recommend purchasing the guest towel and cocktail napkin holders (if available). They keep your napkins looking orderly and purposeful.
Party games are an absolute favorite of mine and I really do think that the addition of a game to your party elevates it to another level of fun. Games are a great way to mix up conversation and get all of your guests engaged. For my Thanksgiving Dinner Party, I have actually outsourced the game to my mom, who was delighted to take on this this assignment. We will be playing a game called "Fact or Fowl" (essentially a True or False version of Turkey Trivia). My mom has been researching all sorts of Turkey Facts to compile a list of questions for this game. We will have two teams compete against each other on Thanksgiving night for very fabulous prize (plus the fame, honor and glory of winning!). Here are two great resources for turkey trivia facts if this idea is something that you would like to include in your Thanksgiving party plans (Source 1 and Source 2).
When it comes to hosting Thanksgiving Dinner, finishing touches are great additions if you have time. The meal is definitely the priority along with making sure your guests have a great time. If you find that you are ahead of schedule with preparations, then yes, I would consider adding a few of these extra touches into your Thanksgiving plans. I know I have said this before, but after going through this entire preparation process for Turkey Day, I have a new found respect/appreciation for anyone who hosts or has ever hosted this dinner. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and please don't hesitate to email me any Turkey Day questions (cooking, decorating, entertaining, etc…). Always happy to help!