Planning a Successful Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for what we have, and share our thanks with those we love. But let’s be honest, sometimes those we love can give us the biggest headaches. So how do you have successful Thanksgiving, and minimize those family squabbles?

Seating is key

Really think about your seating arrangements. Try and anticipate who may need to be separated, and who really gets along well.

Try and pair “problem starters” with their favorite person or someone who can distract them with great conversation.

If you are putting all the food right on the table, you can diffuse them by making sure you put their favorite dish, right in front of them to start out with.

It’s all about food, right?

Food is the heart of thanksgiving parties. You have to have your classic family favorites, but don’t be afraid to introduce some new dishes once in a while.

It’s a great idea to have a few different side dishes you can swap out each year to keep things “fresh” and not go “stale” in your meal choices.

Or try different variations of side dishes. From regular mashed potatoes to cheesy mashed potatoes, or even a “baked potato” style mashed potatoes with bacon, cheese, and sour cream!

Creating a chart that breaks down the time it takes to prepare and cook each meal, as well as temperature to cook it at and if it will be on the stove or in the oven…can be a real help to keep you on track and be a little more efficient in the kitchen.


Keep your guests engaged before and especially “after” the meal (to ward off those afternoon naps).

Serve some coffee and sweet treats and pull out some family favorite games.

Feel free to split people up and have a few different games going on in different areas of your home. People can come and join as they please.

Or get the whole group involved in variations of favorite games. Come up with different “house rules” to keep things interesting.

Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll have a successful and squabble-free Thanksgiving.

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