Special Report

30 Thanksgiving Hosting Mistakes You’re Probably Making

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16. Carving at the table

You probably want to show off that perfectly roasted turkey with its crispy, golden skin. By all means, do so. But then take the turkey back into the kitchen and carve it there. There is nothing glamorous about the process. Snapping bones out of sockets and really getting into the nooks and crannies with your knife is not a pretty picture. Certainly don’t do it if it’s your first time as many things can go wrong.

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17. Thawing the turkey too late

Turkeys are generally big birds and they need a long time to thaw. The best way to thaw them is slowly — in the refrigerator. And you’ll need at least a few days — usually a day for every four pounds.

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18. Running out of food

Don’t underestimate how much food you need for the big dinner. If there is one holiday party when your guests shouldn’t go hungry, it’s Thanksgiving. You also probably want to plan to have enough for leftovers, though these can be a source of contention as some guests may expect to take food home.

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19. Running out of alcohol

No hosts like their guests to get drunk and cause a ruckus, but Thanksgiving dinner without wine is like apple pie without apples. One bottle of wine hold about six glasses. Use that to estimate how many 750-ml bottles you may need.

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20. Running out of games to play

You probably know you should never talk about politics at Thanksgiving dinner. An effective way to avoid getting into trouble with potentially controversial topics — and to avoid getting bored — is to play dinner party games. Everyone will stay busy while eating delicious food — what more do you want from a party?