If you’ve ever hosted a Thanksgiving dinner, you’re probably aware of the basics: how long to defrost the turkey, how to perfectly mash the potatoes and how to get the pie crusts perfectly crispy. But sometimes in our quest to serve the perfect meal, we forget some small details that will give our guests a fun, comfortable experience. Here are five tips for hosting your best Thanksgiving yet:
1. Think about your guests’ seating before the meal as well as during dinner. Set up a small table with snacks and place occasional chairs around it so the family will have a place to gather (and stay out of the kitchen).
2. Take your guests’ dietary needs into consideration. If anyone new will be joining you this year, ask if they have allergies or sensitivities. There’s no need to make a separate meal, but have a few dishes on hand for them to enjoy.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family to commit early. Knowing how much food to buy will save you money and prevent waste.
4. There will likely be a football fan or two in attendance. Make sure they have a spot to watch the game, if possible.
5. If small children will be there, having a place for them to entertain themselves—even if it’s just a few coloring books and crayons on top of ottoman furniture—will make them feel welcome and make their parents very grateful.