Serving Blessings This Thanksgiving | Nashville Christian Family magazine

“How to Prep Your Home to Host the Perfect Thanksgiving”

“How to Impress Your Guests at Thanksgiving”

Don’t these titles pile unneeded stress onto your shoulders? They did for me. Even Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) said the biggest mistake a host can make is doing too much to impress. As Christians, our aim should lean towards blessing rather than impressing.

We can start with preparation by shopping in advance. Secure your menu, write it down, and form a game plan listing a timetable of everything that needs to go in the oven (including the temperatures). Every year I forget an item in the fridge. Consider asking others to bring their favorite side dishes. You may bless them.

When we prepare in advance, we can relax and stay present with family and friends. Remember Mary and Martha? Jesus chastised Martha for spending so much time in the kitchen that she ignored her most important guest. Think of ways to engage your guests. One year, we hosted a group of people who didn’t know each other. I wrote several questions and placed them in a jar. Each person chose a question, and everyone answered. They were simple, like: What is your favorite Christmas movie? What do you enjoy most about the holiday season? What are you looking forward to in 2024? What are you thankful for in 2023?

Consider the five senses. Your guests will immediately smell the aromas when they reach the threshold. Play background music to create a soothing atmosphere. Greet guests with hugs or a touch on the arm, then send them home with a small gift or a to-go box of leftovers. Use fresh herbs to enhance the flavors in your dishes. You can cheaply decorate your table with natural items like pine cones, acorns, miniature pumpkins, or candles.

If something goes wrong, what if we could laugh about it? I’ve served a lukewarm dish that should have been hot, burnt the pie crust edges, and missed a considerable cobweb hanging over a light fixture. Each time I would sulk. Why? Because I was trying to impress.

Let’s put on our best manners this Thanksgiving Day. You may need to train the young ones ahead of time by practicing saying please and thank you. Help your child engage with other adults by prompting them to look at you when you speak. And put the phones away and give your company undivided attention.

Of course, don’t forget your personal time with God. Family can be messy and unpredictable, bringing out the crazies during the holidays. Talk to God about your guests’ needs, then pray for them—and you.

Sally Cressman writes about faith, family, and home on her website, www.sallycressman.comYou’ll receive FREE “Conversation Starters for the Holidays” when you sign up. Connect with her on Instagram at @sacressman.

Similar Posts
Latest Posts from Nashville Christian Family Magazine