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.

This year, Ocean Spray is making it easier for first time hosts to get all the answers to their burning Thanksgiving questions, by allowing them to #AskCranMa via a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help answer questions about recipes, hosting tips, proper turkey techniques and more! You’re probably wondering what a CranMa is. Well, Ocean Spray is a farmer-owned cooperative, owned by multi-generational cranberry farmer families all over the country, and these CranMa’s (Ocean Spray farmer grandmas) have hosted quite a few Thanksgivings in their time. We had the pleasure of meeting with three of them during the event.

After attending the Ocean Spray event and getting fun hosting tips from expert CranMa’s, I’m considering doing it again! Thanksgiving is such a special time, as it ushers in the remainder of the holiday season.

A few tips I’ve learned from the experts that stuck with me!

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!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ocean Spray. The opinions and text are all mine.



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About Brianne

Once a fashion showroom owner now turned mom and blogger/writer. Brianne Manz lives in New York City with her husband, three children and enjoys their fast paced city life. Her blog Stroller In The City boasts about city living, family travel, kids fashion and all things that are mommy. Being a mom doesn't mean you need to lose sight of the cool stuff. Brianne has has been featured on the Today Show, E! News, and People Magazine to name a few.