Is 2020 your year for Thanksgiving dinner? Do you need some entertaining ideas and tips? Don’t fret, you’re not alone! I’ve gone ahead and gathered together some helpful tips and tricks for the big day. Whether it’s your first Thanksgiving dinner at home, or you’re eighth, these Thanksgiving dinner ideas are sure to be hit with your guests. Bonus-you’ll be less stressed too, I promise!

So, where do we start?

Don’t Go Crazy on your Thanksgiving Menu

It’s always tempting to create an inspiration board of ideas and try to incorporate each one into your gathering. Instead, select a color palette that works with your environment and add a handful of ideas from your board. Tabletops already have plenty going on, so keep it simple.

When you’re planning for Thanksgiving dinner ideas, it’s easy to think that you’ll have all this extra time on your hands. Many of us think it’s the perfect time to create an insane, farm to table, handmade, gluten-free, healthy meal that makes you the talk of the town. But if there’s anything we’ve learned from 2020, it’s not to get your hopes up. Even the most seasoned home cooks use some items that speed up the process and make it easier. With that in mind, decide ahead of time what you want to make from scratch. Don’t forget the options that can be purchased from the store and add just homemade touches. Remember that guests will want to bring an item with them too. Consider this your carte blanche for that dish you don’t have time to make, or heck, want to make.

Carmen Santorelli Photography

Write It All Down

Break your Thanksgiving menu into three parts: appetizers, dinner, and dessert. List out your must-haves for each, regardless of whether it’s a store-bought item, a dish you make, or something your Aunt brings every year.

Now, after you’ve got a list of Thanksgiving dinner ideas for appetizers and the main event, check to see if there are any dietary restrictions. If so, evaluate your list to see if there is an easy ingredient swap you can make to allow everyone to enjoy. Mind you; this definitely doesn’t have to be every dish. A general rule of thumb for hosting those with allergies is to have at least one dish from each section that all can enjoy. No one, and I mean, no one, enjoys having a food allergy. Many times, guests can be a little wary of accepting invitations when they know they’re going to be stuck without much to eat all day. If the shoe were on the other foot, wouldn’t you appreciate a dish made with you in mind? I know I would!

Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving dinner ideas, from prep the week before, to the day of. If you’re in a hurry, check out this article from Style Me Pretty in the meantime. And yes, recipes are coming!

thanksgiving table decorations


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