Having the right guestlist is always important. Consider who you've invited to dinner, and how they'll influence the vibe.
Allies: Allies are guests who are on your side and will make Thanksgiving a success. These are people that support you and will automatically pitch in with tasks.
Cushions: Non-family member guests who ensure your more regular guests will be on their best behavior. These can be people who don't have family close by, so they really appreciate being a part of another family's traditions, adding a fresh dynamic to the group.
Life of the Party: These guests are conversation starters who keep things lively and fun. These are the people that will ensure your gathering does not have a dull moment.
The answer to keeping kids happy is planning some great activities to keep them busy.
Craft Corner: Lay out some kraft paper so kids can have fun with crayons and washable marker. You can also get kids involved in the day's decor by having them make placecards for the table or by decorating pumpkins for the centrepiece.
Recess: It doesn't matter how big your house is, at some point the kids will need fresh air. Send them out into the backyard with some outdoor toys and let them play as long as they want. Some fun and easy games are hide and seek or pin the tail on the turkey.
Tip: Instruct guests to pack PJs for their kids to make things easier at the end of the night. When the day gets too long, have the kids change into their PJs so they can get tucked right into bed when they get back home!
Even with the best laid plans, we've all got some tricky guests that are probably part of the family! Here are some easy solutions to common seating scenarios.
Where to seat the overindulgent uncle?
Seat overindulgent 'Uncle Joe' between an Ally and a Cushion. The Cushion may cause Uncle Joe to take it easy on the alcohol, but if Uncle Joe overindulges, the Ally can always take control of the situation.
Where to seat the always critical mother-in-law
Seat your mother-in-law between the grandkids and the life of the party. She will love to be near her grandkids, and the chatty life of the party guests will provide a great distraction and keep her occupied. You want her out of earshot so you don't have to hear any of her biting remarks. Don't give her the power to ruin your event.
Don't forget about yourself! You've hosted a successful event so treat yourself and decompress so you can do it again next year!
Book a cleaning service for after the event so you don't have to worry about cleaning. Round up some kids from the neighbourhood!
Plan a meal or mani-pedi with a friend so you can get out and be waited on. You deserve it!