Turkey tips: Party bloggers dish advice for hosting Thanksgiving

Haley Sheffield
Haley Sheffield

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By Amy Eley

Does the idea of hosting Thanksgiving in only a few short weeks make you want to crawl under that dining table with a pan of pumpkin pie and never come out? 

From deciding where everyone will sit to assigning the lengthy menu and later tackling the mountain of dishes, figuring out your Thanksgiving dinner plans can seem like a logistical nightmare — but help is here. Bloggers who have mastered the art of entertaining are serving up their best tips so you can breathe a little easier and focus on what really matters this Thanksgiving. 


Never underestimate the power of a list. To ensure a seamless Thanksgiving, create a timeline counting down the 24 hours before mealtime, listing out exactly when all menu items should be prepared. Then put that list on the refrigerator door to help ease your mind and keep you on track. Just make sure to follow it exactly. —Camille Styles, lifestyle blogger of Camille Styles and author of "Camille Styles Entertaining: Inspired Gatherings and Effortless Style"

Get a head start the night before. Get a step ahead of accomplishing your to-do list the night before: Set the table, arrange the centerpieces, create your playlist and place serving pieces where they will go on the buffet. —Camille Styles


Give guests some direction. My top tip for hosting any gathering of any kind is figuring out what your guests will do when they walk in the door. Giving your guests a helpful hint as to what they can do when they enter helps make them feel comfortable and at ease. Some easy examples are "fix yourself a drink" or "enjoy some appetizers" right when they walk in. This means set those stations up where you want people mingling. My top priority as a host is to help people feel comfortable, and a little bit of direction from me to them goes a long way in doing that. —Alison Faulkner, party blogger behind The Alison Show

Get by with a little help from your guests. When preparing the food on Thanksgiving, don't hesitate to invite your guests to come help out in the kitchen. No one wants you to have to do all the work, so invite them to lend a hand and enjoy the time getting to connect and chat before dinner. Also keep in mind that most people genuinely would love to help with dishes afterwards, which always go so much faster with extra help! —Ali Ebright, DIY and food blogger behind Gimme Some Oven


Send some leftovers with your guests. Yes, you worked hard to have those leftovers, but stuffing your fridge like a Thanksgiving turkey can get tricky, so go ahead and send some leftovers home with guests. One fun way to get rid of leftover pie is by packaging up slices in individual boxes to send along as a midnight snacks. Adhere this free printable to a pie box (you can make your own with these instructions from Martha Stewart) for a unique and memorable way for guests to take home the leftover dessert. —Kelly Lanza, DIY and party blogger at Studio DIY