Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

5 Tips To Being The *Ultimate* Thanksgiving Hostess!

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

It’s that time of year again! The leaves are turning orange, the temperature is dipping, and the first frost is on the ground. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Whether you’re hosting your whole family or have an intimate Friendsgiving, these tips are sure to make you the hostess of the year:

  • Make everyone feel welcome: While this may seem obvious, the true art of being a good hostess is making everyone feel equally welcome and involved during the event. Be sure to take your guests’ coats and offer them a drink when they arrive. During dinner, ensure everyone participates in the conversation and try to draw all of your guests in. 
  • Keep politics off the dinner table: As much as a spirited debate can spice up conversation, it’s typically best to leave politics (and other controversial topics) off the menu. Impromptu political discussions can leave guests feeling awkward, uncomfortable, or upset. As the hostess, it’s your job to make sure that the conversation topic involves everyone yet leaves no one feeling uncomfortable. 
  • Get your cooking done before your guests arrive: Being “the hostess with the mostest” truly requires advanced planning. It’s best to plan your menu and grocery shopping a few days before the occasion. Then, begin prepping the day before and the morning of! Strategically prep your dishes and think about which ones have similar oven temps and cook times. Ideally, you should have your cold dishes prepared and refrigerated and your hot dishes warming in the oven when your guests arrive.  
  • Create a beautiful table: Putting extra effort into the details will make your event memorable for your guests! Unique table decor is a great way to do this. You can keep it simple with a clean floral arrangement (so your guests can still see each other, of course!), or you could go to town with special placemats, plates, and tablecloths. Warm tones and neutrals are always good for an autumnal mood. 
  • Invite someone who may not have a place to go: Part of being a good hostess (and being a good friend or family member) is to value inclusivity above all else. It’s very much so in the Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) spirit to invite someone who may not have another place to go. Often, these guests are the most thankful and kind, and they may end up making your Thanksgiving celebration!
I am a member of the Brown Class of 2026, and I am planning to concentrate in history and economics. In my free time, I enjoy reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. So excited to join Her Campus at Brown!