Your Guide to Holiday Entertaining

Thanksgiving has arrived. Company is coming, the table is set with your favorite linens, and you’re eager to gather around the table with friends and family to make new memories together. Whether you’re hosting a traditional family Thanksgiving or festive Friendsgiving, this guide will help you navigate all of the key details for hosting the perfect holiday dinner.

1. Include Your Guests

So you’ve decided to host a Thanksgiving dinner, but you’re not ready to take on full responsibility for everything from turkey, to bread rolls, to wine? Be clear if you want your guests to help; everyone is usually more than happy to lend a hand and share their favorite dishes! Turning your holiday meal into a potluck feast can be the perfect way to try new dishes and share new traditions with each other. Not sure how to ask guests to bring a dish? We find that asking in the following ways is more than welcome: “I love your fresh rolls, would you mind making some for dinner?” or “Would you mind picking up some ice on your way?”.

2. Seating Plans.

As the host, your biggest job is to ensure everyone feels welcome and has a good time. And given it’s Thanksgiving, much of that time is spent around the dinner table. Take every care in creating a seating plan that encourages lively conversation and avoids quarrelsome personality clashes. If you notice someone stranded outside the conversation, create inclusive opportunities. If you’re seated next to a conversational void, try an old fail-safe like, “How has the last year been for you?”

3. Toast From the Host

Thanksgiving deserves a little ceremony…and thanks, of course. Prepare something to say at the start of the meal to make your guests feel truly welcome. It’s an opportunity to share what you’re thankful for, while also providing your guests a moment to reflect for themselves. Also, if you’re looking for a way to ease the conversation, consider asking your guests to share what they are especially thankful for. This is a charming way to learn something significant about everyone present.

4. Minimize Messes

Spills and stains are essentially guaranteed when hosting large dinners. However, you can minimize the number of sauce spots as guests pass around the gravy boat by doubling up on saucers at both ends of the table. This will reduce transport back and forth across the table, and hopefully cut down on stain removal following the holidays. And rest assured, when wrinkles or stains do appear, your Home Treasures linens were made with ease of care in mind. You can get expert tips on how to spot clean, wash, dry, iron and store your table linens in our care guide here.  

5. Socially Present, but Socially Silent

Holidays like Thanksgiving provide the rare opportunity for families to come together, so first and foremost, it should be about enjoying one another. While the Thanksgiving table does make for the perfect Instagram opportunity (#thankful), there’s always the chance for a #latergram. Spending time together is truly invaluable, so encourage your guests to put away all devices while there is food on the table.

6. Drunk Uncle

A Thursday off, football and plenty of alcohol? You can’t be surprised that guests may get caught up in drinking too much before the table is set. We like to have hors d’oeuvres on hand – ones that keep the stomach lined, without filling our guests up too much before the Turkey is ready. Also, make sure to have water readily available; water bottles, or a carafe with fresh sliced citrus will encourage your guests to help themselves.

7. Bird Duty

While the host may be responsible for the Turkey, carving should not be his / her sole responsibility. As the host, don’t be shy to ask for help. Whoever has the strongest knife skills should carve the turkey…it is the centerpiece of the meal after all.

8. Master Chef

Thanksgiving is about being grateful, so never apologize for the food. If something is truly inedible, don’t serve it. Otherwise, be proud of your efforts and accept compliments with grace. Your guests are not expecting a Michelin star meal, and if they are, plenty of restaurants are open. Rather, your friends and family have gathered to spend time with those who really matter to them during this holiday.

9. Clean Up

When everyone has enjoyed their turkey, gravy and stuffing, there’s obviously one thing on their mind…dessert. While we encourage guests to help clear the table, there’s a time and place for that. No need to make your guests feel rushed. Enjoy the time seated around the table together. Revel in the moments spent engaging in good conversation. The dishes can wait while you create lasting memories.

10. Leftovers

For many, the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. It’s definitely one of the perks of being the host, but don’t be greedy. Packing up leftovers for your guests to take home is a generous parting gift. They’ll appreciate it the next day for lunch, and it will give you a bit of wiggle room in your own fridge. Plus, it serves as a subtle hint to suggest to all those attending that maybe it’s time to go home. Taking these small suggestions and adding them to your meal will help to create closeness, conversation and a congenial atmosphere.

Home Treasures Luxury Linens

We believe that when you welcome people to the dinner table, you are welcoming them into your family, and we’ve always been incredibly honored to be part of that moment. This is why our collection of table linens was designed with you in mind. Using only the finest Italian fabrics, which can be customized with a variety of finishes – a hand-guided hemstitch, embroidered monogram, satin stitch, applique or lace inset – our linens are intended to help bring your table to life. Whether you prefer a solid white Provenza tablecloth, a Zebra jacquard, or a lace inset like our Doric collection, these pieces were meant to be enjoyed, on your own or with your guests.