Welcome to My Aunt Maggie's House!
She is hosting Thanksgiving this year for 50 people on my dad's side of the family! Overwhelming right?! No, not for my Aunt Maggie who hosts plenty more people then that for numerous different parties & events at her home!
Even when not hosting events...just being at their house is the most "home" feeling place ever, especially because of the people inside it :) ! My Aunt Maggie & Uncle Greg have 6 children....even though they are all grown and out of the house...they have constant guests and kids back at home visiting! So, they are used to feeding many mouths and hosting people at any given minute!
Tip #1 Create an "Experience"
"When people walk in, I want them to not just think about the food and drinks...I want it to be a true experience...which means involving all of the senses.
-Visual (decor) "the food doesn't even have to be that good! Just make it look good!"
-Smell (candles burning)
-Hearing (Music playing in the background)
Tip #2 Always have the table set & ready to go before hand, so you don't have to worry about it the day of!
My Aunt Maggie always has her formal dining room table set for the season, is always ready for guests and will add more tables/ seating as needed! This was you do not need to stress about this part at all!
Tip #3 Make a List of Everything you need to do and check it off as you go!
If something is not on my list it will not get done! Lists & Planning make is SO much easier!
Tip #4 Go All Out
"I believe life has to be celebrated everyday, so I decorate for every season!" - I could not agree with this more!!! :) Life is too short and everyday is a gift!
Tip #5 you want your house to be clean before a party....but if you really want people to think your house is clean make sure your bathroom is picture perfect
If your bathroom that guests are using is spotless.....it will make all the difference! It's really the only time that they are going to be sitting down really taking it all in ;)
Tip #6 Take into Account everyones favorites and mix it into the menu
With my aunt Maggie having 6 children...she knows each one of them has their absolute favorites! She incorporates all of her children's favorite dishes into Thanksgiving and also takes it as far as extended family (like my mom who loves Costco Apple pie!) I believe this makes it even more special!
Tip #7 When you're hosting a Large Amount of People for Thanksgiving...Get a few Mini Turkeys to make is easier to cut & Serve + whats on the MENU!
My aunt Maggie always has a larger beautifully cooked Turkey in the center of smaller turkeys. The smaller turkeys are cut and eaten first and depending on if it is needed or not, the bigger turkey will be carved and eaten last.
What is on the MENU for Thanksgiving:
-Rice with Rasins
-Green Bean Cassarole
-Different Breads with Butter
-Array of Desserts
*She cooks everything for SCRATCH!
Brining some Brazil to Thanksgiving!
My Aunt is from Brazil and adds her Brazilian touch to Thanksgiving! Her rice dish (another one of my mom's favorites) She makes a Brazilian stuffing which is called "farofa". It is not made with bread it is made with sausage, eggs, and some other fun ingredients! She also makes a Brazilian dessert with I always remember having at their house growing up! They are called " brigadeiros", which are chocolate fudge balls rolled up in chocolate sprinkles....AMAZING!
Thanksgiving is Buffet Style
Tip #8 Start cooking the day before!
My aunt Maggie starts cooking the day before and the morning of Thanksgiving. She maps out her timeline for the food because she needs to make sure she has enough oven space for the turkeys the day of Thanksgiving! So, she cook some of the sides like grilled vegetables, potatoes, etc..the day before!
Tip #9 Set up a Coffee/Tea Bar
Set up a coffee/tea bar with liquor to make a special drink, cookies, chocolate spoons, and tea of all different types! This can stay out from the time the guests come from the time they leave...it is not just a dessert thing!
Tip #10 If People Volunteer to bring things....Let Them!
Plain & simple always be open to people volunteering to bring things to make it easier on yourself! My Aunt Maggie does not do a potluck style...However, this is defiantly an easier and cheaper option!
Tip #11 Bring Pops of Thanksgiving decor Everywhere
Everywhere you go in my Aunt's house you are reminded of the beautiful season that we are in! The presentation of her food is beautiful as well because she scatters pumpkins all around the buffet area of where the food is set up.
Where she gets a lot of her Decor:
-Burlington Coat Factory
Tip #12 Use Nature/ What You Have & Bring it Inside!
I thought this was beyond cool! My aunt went outside and gathers fallen branches and fallen leaves and incorporated them throughout her fall decor, especially in her "Great Room". Easy and FREE!
Tip #12 When Hosting Family & Friends Staying Overnight:
-Want to make sure they feel as welcome and at home as possible!
-Welcome signs in guest rooms
-Changes our pictures in picture frames to be of their family & loved ones
-Cute little thank you gift for coming to stay/ making a journey
-She even leaves chocolates on their pillows for them at night!
-Gives them a guide of the area with fun things to do and see!
Tip #13 Order Pizza!
If your family is anything like our family....people will stay and hang out until late at night! Our Thanksgiving dinner is at 4:00PM this year and as it gets later people start to get hungry again! This is when my Aunt orders pizza for the people that stay later to hang out and play games!
Tip #14 Clean up before going to bed so you can start the next day stress free!
No one goes to sleep at my Aunt Maggie's house until all the dishes are washed, put away, and the entire house is clean! She has all of her kids stay that weekend...so its a very fun filled and full weekend! Going to bed knowing that everything from Thanksgiving is cleaned and put away makes starting the next day of crazy, fun, chaos easier!
a Family Tradition:
The Saturday after Thanksgiving every single year...at exactly 11:00 AM it is the family Christmas picture time at my Aunt & Uncles house! All of her kids know not to schedule anything at this time and they are always surprised as to what the theme that year is going to be! They truly have the most awesome Christmas cards every year!
Tip #15 Put your Husbands to work ladies and have him help you move stuff! ;)
Since my Aunt and Uncle host to many people for Thanksgiving lots of tables, chairs, furniture needs to be moved! Thank you uncle Greg! He stays in amazing shape....so that totally helps!
A HUGE thanks to my Uncle Greg & Aunt Maggie for letting me come and take pictures of their home and pick my Aunts brain for hosting tips! They are such amazing people and I considered it just an excuse to hang out with them! :)
Thank you so much for reading my blog post!! Don't forget to subscribe to stay up to date with all the latest news in the Happy Home on Highbridge Community! @HappyHomeonHighbridge ! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!