Thanksgiving is one of our favorite times to truly reflect on the year with gratitude. While this Thanksgiving may look different for some of us, we can still focus on what makes us grateful, make new traditions, and create new memories.
There’s no doubt that this year has been a bit different for everyone! With all the unexpected changes, it’s pretty normal for things to seem off. Whether this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving or you’re a hosting pro, we have some great tips on how to make the most of this year’s Thanksgiving holiday. Read on below for our favorite tried and true methods for hosting a small Thanksgiving gathering!
How to host a small Thanksgiving gathering
1. Make people feel welcome
This is as easy as greeting your guests with a smile, taking their coats, and engaging in warm conversation. It’s always a great idea to ask for help when your guests arrive as well. People always feel welcome when invited to help in the kitchen!
2. Try new recipes
Maybe you’re used to having 12 side dishes but you just don’t have the energy to go all out this year. The good news is that with a smaller Thanksgiving gathering, you’ll only need a few and will have more space to explore new things! One option is to try a new recipe (like Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes & Cranberry Mushroom Sauce or Vegan Green Bean Casserole w/ Rosemary Garlic Mushrooms) or support a local business by getting take-out. Trying something new can take the pressure off the expectations of the holiday.
3. Keep the menu small and simple
Keeping it simple is key for a small Thanksgiving gathering. With a smaller menu comes a shorter to-do list! Here are some delicious and easy Thanksgiving menu ideas for a smaller gathering that will impress your guests:
- The BEST Citrus Tea-Glazed Roasted Turkey
- Creamy Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes
- Baked Mixed Vegetable Casserole
- Apple Pie Minis
- Honey Pear Ginger Cheesecake
4. Have a clean, yet inviting space
There’s always a good balance between having a clean, yet inviting home. Adding soft textures, like blankets and pillows is a good place to start. Add cozy elements, such as table linens, to create a welcoming environment. A home that smells great is also another way to keep it inviting!
5. Do something special for your guests
With a smaller guest list, it’s easier to do something extra special for your guests. This could be something easy as getting their favorite drink, starting things off with a fall-inspired cheese board, making their favorite dessert, or playing their favorite game. Doing something special goes a long way for your guests! It’s something they’ll truly appreciate.
6. Manage your time well
Take a look at your menu and your to-do list to figure out what can be done the day before. The more you get done in advance, the more time you’ll have to spend with your guests! Managing your time well makes hosting less stressful, too. This takes a little bit of extra effort but is really key for hosting a great Thanksgiving!
TIP: Use this Thanksgiving menu planner to really manage your time well! It has checklists, grocery lists, and everything you need to make your holiday gathering go smoothly.
7. Get Thankful
If there was ever a year to be thankful, this would definitely be that year! You could share what has made you thankful this year or your could keep it intimate and have people write their thankful moments on notecards.
8. Relax and enjoy your company
This can’t be stressed enough. You can do all the things, have the best food, and have the most inviting house, but if you don’t relax and enjoy your company, you’ve missed the point. If this year has taught us anything, it has taught us what really matters. So if things don’t get done, it’s ok! Just relax and enjoy. Remember that hospitality isn’t about perfection, it’s about connection!
Have anything to add to the list? Let us know your favorite ways to host a small Thanksgiving in the comments below!