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With the return of the holiday season, dinner parties will become a frequent occurrence for many. And with Thanksgiving on the way, we offer this list of dos and don’ts for hosting a holiday dinner party.

DO: Plan Ahead

As the host, it’s important not to wait to the last minute to prepare for Thanksgiving. So shop for supplies, fill up the gas tank, and get the home as clean as you want before Thursday morning. Minimizing holiday stress has become its own creature, so treat it accordingly.

DON’T: Brawl at the Market

Doesn’t matter if it’s over a can of cranberry sauce or how to prepare dinner, just don’t do it. A deep-fried turkey may not be everyone’s preferred cooking method, but solutions can be found without arguments and/or fisticuffs. 

DO: Communicate the Pandemic Guidelines

Make sure all the guests understand any house rules regarding things like face masks and social distancing. 

DON’T: Press your luck with jokes

Maybe the other guests would appreciate the joke of showing up to dinner in a hazmat suit, but why take the risk when everyone is just happy to see each other again? Don’t push it.

DO: Stay Outside If Possible

This one works especially well if you’re having dinner somewhere with nice weather, and it will also fulfill the bonus of experiencing the holiday like they do in the movies. Have dinner on the back patio or roof of the building. Go throw the football in the yard or in the street if traffic allows. Play fetch with the dog. Chat with friends and family on the fire escape. 

DON’T: Ignore the Weather

If it’s snowing, raining, sleeting, or otherwise showcasing the less-friendly parts of Mother Nature’s offerings, stay inside. Nobody wants a wet dinner, so if you’re planning on dining outside, have a backup plan in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.

DO: Check for Food Requirements

This one depends almost entirely on the individual guests. If anyone has a food allergy or dietary requirements that call for some extra attention from the host, make sure those get communicated before dinner. 

From a dinner experience, understanding the special needs can lead to a unique Thanksgiving. If one of the guests has a severe peanut allergy, that may require a separate meal plan or dining area. If so, ask the guests if they can help accommodate in some way, whether it’s preparing the food before arriving or covering the cost of additional materials. 

DON’T: Start a Food Fight

Seriously. Gravy stains can be a huge pain to remove. And who throws food, anyway? That’s a waste of stuff to make sandwiches for the next week.

DO: Set an Arrival Time

Sounds obvious, but make sure the guests know when to arrive.

DON’T: Go Overboard with Enforcing a Departure Time

The host gets to decide when it’s time for everyone to go home, but they shouldn’t shove everyone out at precisely 7 p.m. It’s a home, not a bar. Closing times should not be posted. And if you have to hire bouncers to escort the guests out the door, you might want to reconsider hosting Thanksgiving this year. 




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