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Tania is currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker, and Senior Editor at the Nashville, Tennessee based PopCulture.com. With past writing and editing credits with Womanista, Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and NBC Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists — one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and giving back to those in her community. She is currently studying at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

The Thanksgiving Party Guide You Need for Easy Planning and Festive Memories

{Image Credit: Country Living}

With Thanksgiving just days away, it is time to start planning! All the prep that goes into setting up your Thanksgiving party every year can be a bit scary. Is it even possible to top the last one?

From the food to the décor, it’s everyone’s dream to create a memorable experience for everyone. Yet with the time constraints and pressure of wanting to organize something everyone will appreciate, it’s not an easy feat. To help you simplify all that party planning for an easier flow, we share ways to have the most impressive party of any year.

All it takes is a little patience and organization for you to deliver major style this holiday season with minimal effort — and you can thank us later!

Send out invitations

The holidays are an extremely busy time of year for everyone, and the last thing you want to do is overcook for guests who might not even arrive. To get a solid headcount for the evening ahead, send out invitations that not only establish your party’s theme through design and style, but also give guests an idea of what to expect.

Think about the décor

From the best fall flowers to the gorgeous centerpieces that fancy up loneliest of tables and fancy pumpkins, autumnal decorations will enhance party celebrations. Whether it’s your mantle or table, for a rustic look that just screams of the season, brighten up the home with tea lights to cozy up a room or head to your backyard for branches of holly to tie up in twine with crabapple and berries collected in mason jars.

Create a menu

Growing up, you might not have had them at your own Thanksgiving dinners, but more and more hosts are now creating menus for guests as a way to prepare themselves for the evening ahead. Not only do they add a touch of elegance to the evening, but can also be very complementary to your decorative theme.

{Image Credit: iStock}

Don’t bake it, fake it!

In addition to getting the turkey ready for its starry debut, you have to focus on all the appetizers and side dishes, and that can be a bit daunting. So when it comes to dessert, don’t bake it — fake it! Not only does it shave a huge chunk of your time off preparation, but it will bring you some ease of mind.

Label the dishes

If you are looking to create a buffet of sorts for your Thanksgiving party or just streamline your dining table with plates of food, opt for labeling dishes. Between food allergies, picky eaters and vegans, your menu isn’t going to please everyone so labels are effective in avoiding the awkwardness of them asking what’s in each meal.

Set up a bar for guests

Whether it’s hot cider, wine, champagne or even a festively seasoned hot cocoa, a Thanksgiving bar is a pretty easy and yummy idea to have for the evening. Of course, if children are at the party, be sure to have adult supervision at the bar at all times for their safety.

Consider a kid’s table

While that beautiful dining table might be a great spot for you and your guests to chitchat, the younger crowd might have shorter attention spans and express their frustration during dinner. To accommodate children, consider a smaller dining table lined with kraft paper, crayons, and a few DIY centerpieces with name cards for the kids just to finish off the luxurious look. Best of all, the tablecloth is an easy clean up.

Take-home boxes

Sending guests home with foil-wrapped foods and plastic bags is not in anymore, sorry. Instead, invest in cardboard take-out boxes easily found at craft stores or Papermart that can be decorated with autumn-motifs for a rustic charm. Additionally, print out names on sticker paper, along with the leftover-menu items and add to their box.

{Image Credit: Spoon Fork Bacon}

Utilize place cards

Add a bit of personalization and thoughtfulness to your party with unique place cards for guests as a way to navigate the evening with grace. A careful seating plan not only keeps hard conversation at bay, but guests will appreciate the thought put into assigning them next to someone they’ll enjoy the evening with.

Re-think game day

Football is beloved by many on Thanksgiving, but re-think what “game day” means after dinner with ways to fight the turkey-sleep-feels with a round of old-school parlor games that involve everyone, like Charades and Pictionary, or classic board games.

Thank you gifts

It’s another stellar party in the books, so of course you need to thank everyone for coming. Don’t just send them home with leftovers — come up with something special and personal that will have them remembering the evening until next year. Whether it’s a jar filled with your cookie recipe mix or a pumpkin cup pies, it will be one sure way to have your family impressed.

What are some tips you will be using to plan your Thanksgiving party this year? Share with us in the comments below.

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