Assign dishes or ask your Thanksgiving guests what they'd like to bring to dinner. When they arrive, transfer everything to all-white platters and serving dishes to create a striking display that allows the cuisine to take center stage.
This year make hosting Thanksgiving as easy as pie by celebrating potluck style. You provide the basics (turkey, beverages and a few sides) and ask guests to bring their favorite dish. Thanksgiving is all about the food, so set up a handy to-go station for leftovers so everyone leaves with a few tasty bites to enjoy later.
On Thanksgiving morning, tackle setting the table. If you knock this off your list first thing, you won't have to give it a second thought the rest of the day. Add simple yet intricate details, like fresh sage wrapped in twine at each place setting.
Combine the ginger beer and cranberry juice, and heat in a small saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave. Then, place the ginger beer and cranberry juice in a mug. Add the vodka and lime juice, stirring gently to combine. Garnish with a lime wedge and fresh cranberries. Serve immediately.
This thankfulness tree was created by arranging thin branches in a vase and cutting leaves from colorful construction paper - either use a stencil or trace actual leaves. Upon arrival for Thanksgiving dinner, invite guests to jot down what they're thankful for and hang on the tree.
Make guests feel at home with customized printable place cards. Pop the cards into small frames embellished with ribbon to dress them up. Bonus: Guests can take the frames home and fill them with a photo of the day's festivities.
Combine the cranberry sauce and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Stir to fully blend. Toast both sides of the bread in a long toaster or under the broiler in your oven. Stack the sandwich, beginning with a slice of toast topped with a thin layer of cranberry mayonnaise. Add turkey, cheese, tomato, lettuce. Add another slice of toast topped with a thin layer of cranberry mayonnaise. Add bacon, more turkey (if desired), cheese, tomato, and lettuce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread a thin layer of cranberry mayonnaise on the last slice of toast and top the sandwich.
Press the sandwich down gently and poke a short skewer or long toothpick through each half of the sandwich. Cut the sandwich in half with a serrated knife, using a sawing motion to prevent displacing the ingredients. Serve immediately.
Craft projects are a great way to entertain and encourage creativity, but the dining table shouldn't be cluttered with paints and glue sticks. Instead, stock the table with an assortment of colorful beads, leather cording and feathers so the kids can create a necklace or bracelet to wear with their headdress.
Centerpieces for a kids' table shouldn't be fussy; they'll need to withstand possible spills and rough-housing, so opt for heavy vessels like ironstone pitchers and small mixing bowls. Fill them with mums, pumpkins, acorn squash or gourds and embellish further with raffia, ribbons and feathers.
Flank a Thanksgiving dough bowl with pillar candles on plates, pedestals or candle stands. Wrap candles in twine or ribbon, and create a loose candle ring with elements from the dough bowl to tie the two decorative elements together.