It’s your turn to host the family holiday gathering. You’ve never done it before and you’re apprehensive. Your grandma was always the host and then your mother took it on but they’re now gone. You are the new leader of the pack; the newly crowned matriarch.

It’s vitally important to maintain holiday and family traditions. You can do it, even being the novice you are. At these annual gatherings, memories are made and cherished over the years by upcoming and future generations who can look at the photographs taken at these family reunions. It is imperative someone chronicle the event both photographically and, ideally, video-graphically. You will regret it if you don’t. Some of the best times occur when looking at old photos and videos.

Decide when the event is going to be and send out an email invitation or a snazzy and clever party invitation that whets their whistle and curiosity, making your party a priority and something no one wants to miss.

Thanksgiving Family Dinner

Decide on the menu. Get input from your family members if you want. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate feast, just good tasting. You may want to ask guests to bring a dish. It’s up to you. The occasion can be formal or a more casual buffet.

Make lists. Lots of lists. You will need party supplies – plates, cups, napkins, silverware, perhaps a new tablecloth, candles for centerpieces, serving plates and so on. Party plates have become quite elegant looking in recent years. No more cheesy or cheap looking paper or Styrofoam plates. The plates often appear to be real China until you pick them up and then realize they’re not.

Since it is the holiday season, incorporate your personal holiday decorations into the centerpieces and throughout your home. People will enjoy looking at your Christmas memorabilia. Remember the music. Buy holiday CDs and allow the music to waft through the house. People may end up singing and dancing and that is what you want. If you really haven’t had time to give your house a thorough cleaning, dim the lights and light candles. This is a romantic look and flattering to everyone. No one looks bad in candlelight and no one will see the dust.

If you plan well enough in advance and stick to your lists and “your guns”, as well as enlisting the help of close family members, this is relatively easy to pull off. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Do not approach this as a chore. Be grateful you have a family to gather with and thankful you are able to accommodate them. They will appreciate it.

Now if you can just get them to stick around and help clean up! Good luck!

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