Special Report

30 Thanksgiving Hosting Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Source: EVAfotografie / Getty Images

21. Using breakable plates

Hosting a dinner or a party with a lot of people — especially if some of those guests are kids — can be a recipe for disaster. It’s not unheard of for people to bump into each other, spill drinks, and drop glasses or plates. You can easily avoid any serious consequences by using paper plates and plastic cups and silverware. (Just don’t forget to recycle them!)

Source: GMVozd / Getty Images

22. Cooking everything in one day

It’s not impossible to prepare everything in one day, but that day is going to be hell and will start at the crack of dawn. By the time the table is set, the football game is on, and everyone is ready to eat and have fun, you’ll probably be asleep on the kitchen counter. Make at least some of the dishes or sides in advance so you can enjoy Thanksgiving, too.

Source: sveta_zarzamora / Getty Images

23. Making fancy dishes

Ask anyone to tell you what foods they are looking forward to on Thanksgiving day and you’re most likely going to hear the usual suspects — turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, grandma’s pecan pie… Did any of these sound fancy? There is no need to stress over exotic cocktails or appetizers. The classics are more than enough.

Source: jimewing2121 / Getty Images

24. Not cleaning as you go

The kitchen is usually a war zone when you’re trying to cook a feast. Spills and splashes are inevitable. So do yourself and your guests a favor and clean up as you go in order to avoid as best you can any possible cross contamination and food poisoning. Also, cleaning up while cooking will save you time cleaning up later.

Source: JodiJacobson / Getty Images

25. Having too many leftovers

Most guests will happily take home some leftovers, but they are not likely to take an entire casserole dish of mashed potatoes or a whole pie, right? And do you want to be eating Thanksgiving food for a week after the big day? Probably not. Leftovers are safe in the refrigerator for up to four days. The risk of bacteria growing, leading to food poisoning, increases after that.