Simply on Sunday–Thanksgiving for a Crowd

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Happy Sunday everyone!

Today we have a few fun things to share and then I thought I’d touch on Thanksgiving, since that is on many of our minds this week. We are hosting a large group this year so my goal this week is to get as much done ahead of time as possible.


photo by candice adelle photography

First though, if you saw our Friendsgiving photoshoot post here I wanted to let you know that it is also live on the HomeGoods Design Happy Blog. Christy and I are fortunate enough to be HomeGoods brand partners and I was thrilled when they wanted to showcase this fun event on their site too. Even if you read our post, all the professional photography is over there so be sure to check out the gorgeousness, you can see it all HERE.



Also, Christy has a post on Mohawk Creative Home about preparing your home for the holidays, it’s full of great tips to be guest-ready long before they arrive, saving stress during an already busy season. You can see it HERE.



OK speaking of holidays, we are hosting 30+ people for Thanksgiving from my husband’s side of the family this year. I say plus because there is always the chance that more will decide to come at the last minute, but the more the merrier, right? This is by far the biggest group I have ever hosted for this holiday so it took a little bit of pre-planning. I thought I’d share my thinking and strategy for those of you who also may be hosting a big group.



THE TABLE–I know that the easiest way to have an event like this is to go with paper plates and not worry about seating, and probably on other occasions I’d be OK with that, but on Thanksgiving I feel like the table is truly the integral part of the holiday {you can read my post on why I make it a priority to gather around a table HERE}. I decided to rent enough tables so everyone can have a seat along with more folding chairs. That all may seem like extra trouble but in the end, it cost less than $30 (we are picking them up and returning them ourselves to save money) and this way everyone has a place to sit together and eat.


KIDS–A large portion of our group is children, so we plan to set up two large kids’ tables and another smaller teen table. That way the older cousins who don’t see each other often get to enjoy themselves away from their younger siblings. We’ll eat in two stages, the younger kids first, then the teens and adults following. I plan to cover the two rectangular rental tables with kraft paper and put out crayons for the younger kids, luckily we have a breakfast room large enough to handle them all.


Breakfast/SunRoom with Neutral Decor and Natural Roman Shades


ADULTS–I have expanded my dining room table to maximum capacity, and we will just all cram in! While I am not resorting to paper plates, I am compromising with these disposable plates. After all the prep of Thanksgiving, I refuse to do dishes for days, I have my limits 🙂 I don’t have enough wedding silver or stainless, so I added a few more place settings of this inexpensive gold flatware so I have enough for all the adults.  I also picked up a few boxes of inexpensive wineglasses at HomeGoods to use to serve water on the table.


SERVING–I’ll use my kitchen island as a buffet to serve, and I ordered these warming trays to hold the side dishes. We only have one oven, which only bothers me once a year, pretty much only at Thanksgiving, so I have to make due. We’ll be serving a few dishes from crockpots, the buffet won’t be Pinterest-worthy but hopefully we will have hot food!




COOKING–of course I have help, our guests are bringing dishes so my main responsibility is the turkey, or well, two of them along with a few side dishes. We plan to cook one of them on the grill, something we’ve never attempted by my parents do it each year and they promise it will work great. Fingers crossed on that, I am also making the gravy ahead using this recipe HERE. We have a rundown on all our best Thanksgiving recipes HERE if you are still working on your menu.

DRINKS–In addition to water, beer and wine we’re serving apple cider and fruit water. While I’ll resort to juice boxes for the youngest children, I’ll serve the fruit water in a beverage server, my plan is to mix in cucumbers and mint for fun, it gives water a little something extra. The apple cider can also become Apple Cider Martinis which is a must at Thanksgiving at our house, along with bourbon lemonade for the men.

DESSERT–That part is easy–we buy that! I am not a baker so this part is a no-brainer. There are the cutest girls at our local farmer’s market that make the best gluten-free pies, so I ordered from them–  done and done!

Our final strategy is to make the best use of our outside spaces since we have a crowd, we told our guests to dress warm and thankfully, as of now, they are calling for clear skies so we’ll follow dinner up by lighting our fire pit and possibly even having dessert outside. I may even rent an outside heater for deck to expand our entertaining area.

With all that being said, I’ll be shopping and cooking up a storm this week. We’ll be back on Thursday with Christy’s tree for the Balsam Hill 12 Bloggers of Christmas tour so after you eat your turkey, be sure to check in! Then next week we’ll have our gift guides to help you get your holiday shopping done.



Don’t forget to order your 2017 Holiday Planner (it also has a Thanksgiving planner worksheet) among  the other 20 pages, you can learn more about it HERE, for the most organized holiday yet!



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Our posts contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we will earn a small commission, which helps to keep our content free.  You don’t pay a cent more than you would otherwise, since that would be tacky! Please see our full disclosure policy here.

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