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Tips On Hosting Thanksgiving

Thank you to Ocean Spray for sponsoring this blog post.

I cannot believe the holidays are once again upon us. The kids are already giddy, drafting Christmas wish lists, while I’m trying to sort out plans with family members for the holidays. Last week, I attended the second annual Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog event, held in the heart of Rockefeller Center® which helped juice up my holiday spirit. Last year, I attended with Ryder, where we learned all about harvesting cranberries while climbing into the bog, waders and all. Ryder still talks about it, so he was a little bummed that he couldn’t make it this year.

It was such a cool experience that I was psyched to do it again this year. Hosting any holiday, especially Thanksgiving, can be a super stressful undertaking, with so much to organize and prepare, first timers may become overwhelmed. I’ve only hosted one Thanksgiving for my family, and while I enjoyed preparing my recipes for everyone, it was a lot of work. I remember having lists all over my apartment, and sending Jason out to the store multiple times, to pick up something I had forgotten.

A few tips I’ve learned from the experts!


Start prepping and cooking two to three days before Thanksgiving.

If you have a lot of people to cook for, why not make it a potluck and have each person bring a dish, even if it is just an appetizer or dessert.

Prepare a signature cocktail for when your guests come in.

When decorating your tablescape, it can be fun to decorate with fruits, vegetables and flowers. And try to set your table the day before.

And most importantly, focus on your family because that it what matters the most!

After visiting each of one of Ocean Spray’s CranMa stations, all of the guests put on their waders, and sat in the middle of cranberry bog, where we enjoyed a full on Thanksgiving meal! It was such a neat experience, to be in that setting, sampling all of the CranMas’ recipes. I can’t wait to share with you all. Stay tuned!

*originally published Nov. 15, 2017

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47 thoughts on “Tips On Hosting Thanksgiving”

  1. Well that is definitely a interesting idea. It looks so pretty. These are some great tips and even though I am not hosting at my house I am helping the host with everything. I will definitely keep these tips in mind.

  2. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    We have Thanksgiving at my mother in law’s house, and it’s always a good time. We do it potluck style. Everybody brings something.

  3. That is the craziest Thanksgiving idea I’ve ever seen! Crazy cool, I mean! What could be more Thanksgiving-y than a cranberry bog?!

  4. How do you look so gorgeous in them wet suit pants? haha! Your hair is on point! Also, I relaly love Oc ean Spray and will be enjoying their products next week!

  5. These are great hosting tips. We are having a few holiday parties this season and I’ll have to give them a try. I would love to go to the Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog event.

  6. This seems like quite the event! I think the venue looks so pretty and definitely unique with the cranberries everywhere. Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner can be a lot of work so I’m sure your tips will come in handy!

  7. That looks like such a fun event! Thanksgiving is over for us this year but I hosted it for my extended family. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun. I’m keeping your tips handy for next time.

  8. What fun! I just love cranberries – not just to eat but to decorate with so I think that whole setup is really pretty. Your tips are perfect. I always get so stressed hosting Thanksgiving and things like prepping ahead can really simplify it all.

  9. Janis @MommyBlogExpert

    Cranberries are my fave, I can’t imagine Thanksgiving without them. And in fact, I buy extra bags of Ocean Spray cranberries during the fall season and freeze them to use throughout the year.

  10. This is such a fun and unique event! The meal looked fantastic. I love that you were able to learn from the Ocean Spray CranMas!

  11. Thanksgiving always feels like the craziest holiday of the year. Maybe because there is so much focus on the food, which by the way is always yummy!

  12. Hosting a holiday meal can be so stressful. I like to make lists for just about everything. I think having it potluck style is a great idea.

  13. I love this! I dunno about you, but cranberry sauce is the center of my thanksgiving – not the turkey lol. I’m obsessed!

  14. Pingback: Cranberries On The Menu | Stroller in the City

  15. Pingback: Cranberries On The Menu | Stroller in the City

  16. First off artichokes on the thanksgiving table! Can you invite me ? Yum! And how cool does this Ocean spray dinner look! So fun! Love thanksgiving and it looks like you had an amazing one!

  17. First off artichokes on the thanksgiving table! Can you invite me ? Yum! And how cool does this Ocean spray dinner look! So fun! Love thanksgiving and it looks like you had an amazing one!

  18. Great tips! I think asking everyone to have a potluck is one of the best ways to save your time and effort in preparing dishes.

  19. This post is very timely since my parents are visiting us this Thanksgiving. Will take your advice to start preparing 2-3 days ahead. Love the idea of using veggies and fruits together with the flowers as decorations.

  20. That table is to die for gorgeous! I love every bit of it.

    When our kids became older (over 21) we started doing a signature cocktail. It was just a really fun way to add a twist to the day. We still keep that tradition.

  21. Oh wow! These are great tips for hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. I have no idea about the preparation, all I know is just to eat. Lol! Thanks for sharing these tips!

  22. Veronika Sykorova

    Great tips! Starting early and really thinking it through and prepping everything makes Thanksgiving day so much easier!

  23. Thanks for the tips! I’m hosting this year and I’m super nervous. These tips are helping calm my worries a bit!

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