What you will need (besides food):
Helpers (don't be shy to ask someone who lives close to come early and help)
A chair at the table for each person
Enough tableware for everyone (kids 2-12 can use paper plates and cups if you prefer)
At least 3 weeks ahead invite everyone.
Make sure if you invite someone to invite the other family member you know they will tell where they are having Thanksgiving. For long distance guests invite them to stay the night.
Plan out your menu and find all the recipes for them.
Have something for everyone. If you have a split liking for turkeys buy two small ones and have the other family member who has a special recipe to make one of them and you can make a traditional one. If you can't cook AT ALL you can ask each guest to bring something and you will buy the dinner rolls, premade pies, canned cranberry sauce and drinks. If you want to be more impressive make a fancy salad (make sure you have more than one kind of dressing! I suggest one creamy and one light.) Make sure you have someone carve the turkey and slice the cranberry sauce before putting it on the table.
First Impression is important! Waiting can be boring.
Make sure your house is completely clean and ready for overnight guests. Decorate your table and put an appetizer or two on the coffee table if guests have to wait while they watch football or the parade. Appetizers can be simple like chips and salsa. If kids under 12 are coming have something for them to do. Ideas: Coloring pages, crafts, outdoor games, etc
If the kids are hyper set a separate table for them and have a teen (or preteen) supervisor to sit with them. You can even use the coffee table as the kid table! (just make sure to use a table cloth)
If someone at your house is a Christian (even if it's one person) ask them to say a short prayer for the food out of respect. Some people like to ask each person to say what they are grateful for, even if they copy someone else. After that have everyone seated and start serving each other.
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