It might not seem like it, but Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away!
Many manufactured homeowners may consider hosting a Thanksgiving dinner this year. It’s a great reason to bring the family together, watch some football if your favorite team plays on the holiday, and enjoy some great food!
Whether it’s your first time hosting and you aren’t sure where to start, or if you’re a Thanksgiving dinner veteran, here are some tips you should keep in mind for making sure your holiday gathering goes off without a hitch.
Know Your Space
Thanksgiving family gatherings come in all shapes and sizes. Some prefer to keep it intimate with a dinner for just the immediate family, while others host several dozen family members from across the country.
No matter the size of your Thanksgiving gathering, make sure your manufactured home is arranged so that everyone has enough space to feel comfortable. It may be a smart idea to consider rearranging your living room or other common spaces to accommodate more people than usual.
Arranging chairs (more on that below) in a round, or next to folding tables, is a good idea. So is pushing furniture up against a wall so you have more room for folding furniture so everyone can sit for dinner.
The amount of space your manufactured home has plays a role here. Think about how many people could comfortably fit in your home for an evening. Just because you can fit 60 people in your home doesn’t necessarily mean that you should if it means that everyone will be packed in like sardines.
Plan Your Cooking Schedule
If you’re cooking multiple dishes for your family, it helps to plan ahead.
Creating a schedule of what you’ll cook, and when, is key. Don’t start Thanksgiving morning with a general “I’ll start at 10 AM and go from there” plan. If something goes wrong along the way, you might feel less prepared to adapt on the fly.
If making twelve dishes for a family Thanksgiving seems daunting, don’t be afraid to do a potluck-style holiday! Have each family member bring their favorite dish to serve. This is a win-win. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed with cooking for a large crowd, and your family can try all sorts of different dishes from all kinds of cooking backgrounds!
This is also a good time to take advantage of your manufactured home’s special kitchen features. For example, if you have a farm-style kitchen, use those large countertops to your advantage and serve your Thanksgiving dinner buffet style!
When it comes to dishes, if you’re not planning to spend your Black Friday behind the kitchen sink, you can use disposable plates and cutlery to get the job done.
Lastly – for larger families, consider having two separate mealtimes. Kids eat first, followed by the adults. Or, have a mixture of both rotate in!
Don’t Forget the Chairs!
You don’t want to have your guests arrive only to find that there’s nowhere for them to sit.
Make sure you’ve provided ample space for seating when hosting your family in your manufactured home for Thanksgiving. If you need to, move chairs from other rooms of your house into your living room so people can socialize while dinner is cooking.
For larger gatherings, don’t be afraid to ask family members to bring folding chairs, too. Most people have at least a few that they can bring, and it means that there’s less cleanup for you once everyone has left.
One last tip: take advantage of other pieces of furniture in your home for seating. We’ve written before about how storage chests can be versatile for this exact purpose.
Get Classy with the Decorations
It’s not as often that you see people go all-out with decorating for Thanksgiving like they do for Halloween, Christmas, or other holidays. That said, there are ways you can make your home festive for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Have some leftover Halloween candy? Find a festive turkey-shaped bowl and leave it out for your guests to snack on after dinner!
You can also revive the classic “turkey handprint” crafting classic. If you have children, give them an afternoon of fun by letting them loose on brown construction paper, colored pipe cleaners, and their imagination.
But, if you prefer to keep things scaled back around your manufactured home while eating Thanksgiving dinner, you can stick to brown and orange accents throughout your home. Tinsel, wall decorations, paper streamers, and floral arrangements are a great, subtle way to give your manufactured home some Thanksgiving flair.
No matter which route you choose, you can incorporate any of the above to turn your manufactured home into the ultimate Thanksgiving gathering place. In fact, you just might become the go-to for hosting the family each and every year – no more driving on crowded roads to get to great aunt Bonnie’s!
Think About Other Activities!
Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be JUST about the food. After the dishes have been cleaned up, consider what other Thanksgiving-themed activities will help bring the family together. Here are just a few fun ideas:
- Set up the living room, den, or media room if you have one for a movie night! Thanksgiving is the perfect time to stream your favorite Thanksgiving movie.
- Start a family Secret Santa exchange. If you’re getting together to exchange gifts on Christmas, you can pull names out of a hat on Thanksgiving so you have time to pick out the perfect gift. You can even bring the holiday catalogs to take advantage of Black Friday deals!
- Have a board game or card game night! It’s the perfect time to get the adults together for some pinochle or poker while the kids play Monopoly.
Are you looking for other ways to introduce the autumn season into your home? Check out this guide on mobile home autumn painting colors! This is perfect if you’re looking to give your manufactured home a major facelift before the Thanksgiving holiday.