Getting your home ready to host a dinner party for a holiday, or for out of town guests who will stay overnight takes many preparations before, during, and after their visit. Advanced preps and tips can help save you time and stress! Here are a few helpful ideas to get your place ready for big holiday dinners and guests:

Thanksgiving Dinner:

The main event: A delicious and traditional spread. What will you be featuring on your menu? The top essentials on mostly everyone’s lists: Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, pie, and cranberry sauce. Here are some of the best recipes from the Food Network families will be using this year to create their meals:

Perfect Cranberry Sauce: An easy, and saucey 15 minute prep will give you and your guests just the right touch of sweetness for an optional Turkey topping.

Perfect Roast Turkey:  Made with a buttery and citrusy flavor, guaranteed to make you go back for seconds.

Sausage and Herb Stuffing: The secret ingredients that make all the difference: Sausages and Granny Smith apples!

Mashed Potatoes: A creamy, mouthwatering taste in a few simple steps.

Classic Turkey Gravy: A unique mix infused with thyme, parsley, rosemary and/or sage.

Four -Flavor Sheet Pan Pie: “ A clever sheet pan hack gives you quadruple the Thanksgiving pie fun (and saves the time and effort of making four individual pies.) ”

When inviting guests and preparing your menu, check if any invitees have specific allergies, or ingredient sensitivities you should be aware of. Here are some dairy free, and gluten free Thanksgiving recipe options you can try:

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Cornbread: Yes- bread, gluten free, and delicious can all exist together to form a delicious side dish.

Dairy Free Chugging Pumpkin Soup: Warm, and tasty with two special kicks- Rum, and Tabasco sauce.

Are you thinking about hosting, but don’t want to do all the cooking? Try a potluck style Thanksgiving dinner where each person, or couple is assigned a dish to be in charge of making and bringing to the meal.

  • Setting the table: If you have a dishwasher, consider using your holiday, or nice dinner plates that are dishwasher safe for a beautiful look. Hosting a large dinner? Disposables it is, then! Search for festive disposable tableware to set the Thanksgiving mood and to make setting up, and cleaning up an easy process. Most home dining tables seat 6-12 people. If you are having more guests than your table fits, consider buying an additional foldable table to extend your seating capacity.
  • Extra Touches: Sometimes your guests may be hesitant to choose a spot to sit in on their own and prefer that you, as the host, tell them where to sit. To avoid assigning seats after everyone arrives, create simple place cards by every plate for each person to know their seat. Feature an appetizer area by your kitchen island, or on a designated table in the living room with light refreshments and a “Thank- You Jar.” Create this activity by putting a mason jar, pens, and pre-cut paper rectangles for people to write what they’re thankful for on. Later during the dinner, you can bring the jar to the table and have each person read a message out loud. Throughout the evening, play some music on low in the background to set a holiday vibe.

How to prepare your guest bedroom, and bathroom:

Are any of your guests from out of town and staying over for the holidays? A week before they arrive, start preparing their room(s) by making the beds with clean, freshly washed sheets. Sweep and mop the floors, and dust bed headboards and nightstands. Check if all the lights, lamps, and fans are working properly, and that the TV remote has batteries. Test out curtains,and/ or drapes to make sure they open and close well. Write a note with your WiFi password, and home address, and leave it on the nightstand. Put one large bath towel per guest folded neatly on the bed, and hands and face towels in the bathroom. Test the toilet to make sure it works properly, and leave extra toilet paper rolls beneath the sink. Add a small basket with an extra toothbrush, toothpaste, and cotton balls in case your guest(s) forgot them at their homes. Restock the shower with soap, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner.

A few extras to include: Air freshener, lotion, women’s sanitary products, loofahs, and an unused hair brush. If you live in a cold city, add an extra throw blanket on top of the bed for comfort. If you live in a building, or in a gated community let the front desk know in advance that you will be having company for X amount of days and provide them with your guests’ first name(s) and last name(s) so that security is aware those approved names can have full access to your complex and to all amenities. With these preparations, your guests are sure to feel at home away from home.

The team at A&D Mortgage wishes you, your family, and friends a Happy Thanksgiving, and happy holidays!