November brings chilly weather, family, friends, and the overarching theme of thankfulness.  Thanksgiving is such a full holiday that emphasizes a much needed season of gratitude and appreciation. Between orchestrating the perfect menu and preparing the home for guests, hosts have a major responsibility in working to create a celebration that is both eloquent and intimate. As this holiday season approaches, keep in mind these brief etiquette steps to enhance your thanksgiving festivities.

In accordance to typical thanksgiving standards, the most critical element of the event is the food. As a host, it is detrimental to be proactive when articulating an all-encompassing menu for the big event. Plan ahead and be mindful of your guests. Are there any known food allergies among your party? Do you need to offer more healthy alternatives? Being aware of these concerns early on makes preparing a breeze. Being mindful of your visitors will express your love and appreciation for them.

Another aspect of the occasion is the numerous arrangements. Taking the time to utilize all of your space in your home is imperative. If you have several children attending, you should consider adding a kids table. Another valuable idea is to try and serve dessert in a separate area. Regarding seating arrangements, always seat your guest so that everyone is comfortable. Typically married or more established couples are seated separately. Couples that are considered to be newly formed are seated across from each other. Think about which specific people will be in attendance and consider which personality types might work best together. The overall goal is to assemble your guests in a way that is going to create the liveliest conversation.

In comparison to Christmas, decorations are less of a hassle for Thanksgiving. And in this context, less is more. Avoid purchasing elaborate flower arrangements and substitute this alternative with more seasonally appropriate décor. Perhaps you could incorporate decorative pine cones, fall leaves, or small pumpkins. The general idea is to emphasize the warmth embedded within the current season. When opening up your home to others you want to be able to create an environment that is inviting and harmonious.

Lastly, after completing the meal, as a host, it is imperative to avoid rushing to tend to the mess. Allow yourself to spend time with your friends and family as opposed to becoming consumed with the aftermath of the celebration. Dirty dishes and a messy table can be taken care of later on. Failure to do so may make your guests feel uncomfortable. Put aside your to do list and enjoy an extra bit of time with those you love.

While it can be overwhelming to take on the responsibility of providing an all-inclusive thanksgiving experience for your guests, keep in mind the central purpose of coming together for the purpose of sharing and celebrating the blessings of life.  As you prepare for the approaching Thanksgiving holiday, adhere to these simple etiquette steps and allow thankfulness to remain at the center of your gathering.