If you're hosting Thanksgiving for the first time, there are somethings you need to keep in mind. I like to call it Minnesota's "Thanksgiving Etiquette." Hosting parties is a tough job, so if you're not hosting Thanksgiving this year, definitely remember to show some appreciation for your host!


1. Skip the scented candles--I'm a sucker for a good pumpkin spice or cinnamon roll scented candle, but on Thanksgiving the smell of turkey and gravy should be the only smells in your house.

2. Get organized--There's nothing worse than entering someone's house and tripping over a mountain of shoes and coats. Have a designated space where your guests can put their shoes and coats. Trust me, things will flow so much better. I usually turn my spare bedroom into a coat closet when I have lots of guests over.

3. Figure out your bathroom situation--Clean it. Clean everything in sight. I don't care what your regular living habits are--when you have guests, the bathroom needs to be spotless and stocked with toilet paper, hand soap and a plunger.

4. Decorate your home--Be a little festive. You're the host, so it's your job to get everyone into the Thanksgiving spirit. Get a cornucopia, pilgrim figurines or display the decorations that Sally and Jimmy made in school.

5. It's OK to have cooking help--If people ask if they can bring something, it's totally fine to tell them what you need them to bring with them. Chances are, you'll make them feel more comfortable if you allow them to chip in. If you're a guest, you should NEVER arrive empty handed no matter what the host says. NO MATTER WHAT. If you don't know what to bring, don't bring wine. That's everyone's default setting.

6. Have designated seats--In my family it's called "the kids table," and I've sat there every single year of my life. I have no idea how one graduates to the adult table, but it happens and our seats are definitely spoken for.

7. Turn on the game--Football is a huge part of Thanksgiving and your guests are going to want to at least pay some attention to the game. Don't make the mistake of forgetting to plan for the game.

8. Don't wait too long to eat--Plan your Thanksgiving according to when you think you'll be done cooking. Don't make your guests wait multiple hours to eat. But, don't rush into the meal either. Life is all about a good balance! If you're going to make your guests wait awhile to eat, make sure you have hors d'oeuvres.

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