Hosting your first thanksgiving?

We are still more than a month away from Thanksgiving, but if you're hosting for the first time this year, you'll need sometime to get properly prepared. Here's a list of 20 "must haves" for the first time Thanksgiving host from CafeMom, like a electronic slicer (which I've never heard of, but I don't host ever).

1. Turkey Dish

While it's obvious that one would need a Turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, it's a little less obvious that they would also need a big enough pan to cook it in. There's throwaway aluminum pans and also ceramic ones. 

2. Electronic Slicer or Sharp Carving Knife

Believe it or not, not everyone has sharp knives readily available to cut the bird that is likely much bigger than other forms of meat. Having a sharp, or automatic, tool can get the job done more efficiently and quickly. 

3. Plates and Napkins

Another seemingly obvious one, but sometimes there aren't enough plates and napkins to go around. People tend to use more than one throughout the evening, so stocking up is always a good idea.

4. Silverware

Silverware is also a good idea, especially if making sure everyone has a fork and knife to eat their food is important to the host. Stores also sell one-time use ones that look real and will make doing the dishes a lot easier.

5. Tablecloth

This isn't just any old dinner. This is a Thanksgiving dinner. Napkins can spice things up, but having a seasonally-appropriate tablecloth or runner will take it up a notch. 

6. Glasses (regular and wine)

Depending on the size of the dinner party, there may not be enough cups and glasses in the pantry. Given that people may want to drink from both throughout the night, it's a good idea to make sure there's enough!

7. Ice

OK, no one likes to get that call on the way to the dinner asking to pick up ice. Get it ahead of time and store it in a freezer so it's nice and chilly for the drinks it will cool on Thanksgiving day.

8. Leftover Containers

Thanksgiving is all about abundance and indulgence. Don't let the inevitable leftovers from the meal go to waste. Friends and family will appreciate being able to have a clean and easily transportable place for their take-home food.

9. Spotify Playlist

Eating in silence is just weird. Don't forget to create a playlist for guests to enjoy while food is being prepared and during the meal itself. Just make sure its appropriate for the occasion.

10. Slowcooker

Slow cookers are amazing because they save a lot of time and energy. Prepare a side dish to cook, or simply keep warm, in the cooker while the turkey is cooking (or other people who bring food use the oven to warm their dishes up.)

11. Tinfoil

Big dishes of food are easier to transport home (or kept in a corner) with tinfoil. For example, if the cookies are ready at the start of the meal, keep them covered with tinfoil until the end so they don't get hard.

12. Appetizers

Thanksgiving is centered around a turkey so it can be super easy to forget that the meal needs other parts of it, too. If food takes a little longer than planned, guests will appreciate being able to munch on appetizers before the main course.

13. Extra Chairs

Picture this: The table is set, the food is steaming and looking delicious. Everyone sits down to eat except for, oh no, tow more seats are needed but they're non-existent or in the basement. Avoid this by breaking out extra chairs ahead of time.

14. Dessert

OK, whoever forgets dessert may be insane to us, but we're all human, it can happen. Don't forget to prepare some sugary teats for the sweet tooths in attendance. 

15. Greens or Vegetarian Options

OK, same with the greens. Yes, Thanksgiving is about comfort foods, but that doesn't mean a salad can't lighten things up. Or a side of green bean casserole. The vegan and vegetarian guests in attendance deserve options, too. 

16. Larger Serving Utensils

There's nothing more annoying than setting the perfect Thanksgiving table only to realize there aren't enough serving spoons. A little plastic fork in a big bowl of mash potatoes just won't cut it. Don't forget enough serving utensils.

17. Extra Salt And Pepper

Some people won't touch salt or pepper while others want their food swimming in it. Having more than one of each condiment can eliminate the "can you pass the...." phrases.

18. Bread

We just like bread. It's filling and can sop up the more liquid-y dishes on the plate. Plus, kids can have some if they're too picky for much of the main courses.

19. Butter

From the bread to the green beans to the corn, some people just prefer to have butter. They're like the salt and pepper people. Remember to provide butter on their behalf.

20. Time to Get Ready

Last but not least, preparing a Thanksgiving day or dinner can take a lot of time. Hopefully this list will help, but remember to schedule in some time to get ready before the guests begin to arrive.

Photo: Getty

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