Before you plan for a party, give your home a makeover, especially where the party is going to be held.
Clean out the dining table, add new table covers, change the cutlery, dishes. You can also change the window drapes, doormats, get the music in a more accessible fashion, clear up space if you plan to have a dance floor, plan out for sitting and standing spaces. You can also have the lawn readied, for people might use it for smoking. Avoid smoking indoors.
Definitely add some décor on the outside of the main door to bring in the mood. A simple bunch of cornucopias or pine cones, bound with red silk ribbon would do wonders.
If you are having kids on the party, give special attention for their comfort. Have a separate table for them, with kids’ décor. Plan before hand on attending and accommodating them. If you can get someone dedicated to look after their chores, it would be great. More important, they should be left primarily on their own as long as they are safe, so that they can enjoy the party in their way.
If you are preparing vegetarian dishes, uncommon dishes or exotic dishes, then be sure to label them, with their name and primary ingredients. Now a days, many food are banned for some, especially for ailments like gout or high blood pressure. A simple labeling with a card will help relieve your guests from unpleasant surprises.
Organize games for your guests. If nothing, then at least have a card game with interesting prizes.
Plan for the leftovers. Get small foils bowls beforehand, so that you can pack the leftovers and give it to your guests when they leave, so that food is not wasted.
Now check out some of the most interesting themes of Thanksgiving parties:
- Arrange an eventful party along with all your neighborhood friends. The party can start with snacks at one house. Arrangement of a quick dish at the next house would be perfect. Move your legs with the dancing tunes at the house. Mark the end of the party at your own house with lip-smacking desserts.
- Ask everyone to assemble in the backwards party. Plan properly to write invitations in mirrored writing. Wear clothes to match the mood. Eating dessert is a must.
- Include your pet in the party as well. Offer it a bone or anything it likes.
- If you don’t have pet, then give treat to your favorite stuffed animal or doll. Ask their friends and their owners as chaperones.
- It’s not a bad idea to hold a leap year party once every four years. Make arrangements and plan well for the party during the other three years.
- The theme of your party can be a hat. Inform all your friends to raid their families’ closets and attics or poke through local rummage sales for wild headgear.
- Organize a crazy Hat party for all your near and dear ones. Make interesting hats and for that, collect cheap, white painter’s Hats. Accumulate fabric paints, colored glues, sequins and other exciting crafts.
- Arrange a party and call it a “collection party”. Inform all your friends who have the same hobby to assemble at your home. Trade whatever you collect.
- Organize a cleanup party. Lend a helping hand to all your friends in cleaning up dirty and messy rooms. Three or Four jobs have to be assigned to each one and notice who is quick enough to beat the clock. Savor the taste of a pizza at lunch at the last house.
- A mystery guest party would be entertaining for all. Ask everyone to enter into the party with someone who is unknown to others. Everyone is encouraged to bring adults, sisters, brothers, neighbors, relatives or even pets.
- Make a day out of a swap party. Ask your guests to come with something which can be swapped with any other member present in the party. Swap a piece of cloth, a game, a book, a tape or anything else.
- Organize an exclusive food party with mouthwatering dishes. Every guest has to bring one of his/her favorite dishes to set it out on a buffet table for all the guests to share.
Take 5 to 10 pieces of long strings to be hooked up above the walls across the room. Cut colored paper, preferably in different shades of green and yellow, in leafy shapes. Glue them in a row at equal distance along each string. Hook the leafy strings high enough on the walls so that none of them touches the head of even the tallest of your guests.
To make tent like shapes you can use your stools, vinyl chairs, coat stands, lamp stands. Then place large spread sheets and bed covers to cover each up in a tent like shape. Tape the four loose ends of the sheet with the floor to give the inclines of the sheet a taut look.
You can also hang masks of native Indians and masked heads of deer, turkeys, fowls along the walls of the room.
Place, if you like, potted plants, preferably the bushy variety, in the corners of the party room or hall and also along the corridor. Lay tablecloth with nature motifs or with prints of Turkeys and geared heads of native Indians. Place a customized Thanksgiving note below the placemats on each of the tables.
- Party Games:
Ask your guests to say what they are thankful for. For a twist ask each one to add to their reasons what their predecessor’s) said. You will be amazed to find how difficult it is to remember all of them at the end of one turn. The more the participants the more difficult it is to continue.
You can make it more interesting by asking the participants to scribble down the stuff on a pad. Serve each a pencil and a pad. It will be funny to note how words get changed.
Ask the children to go for a turkey hunt. Make one the hunter and get the child out of the room where a turkey, usually made up of paper, is kept hidden. For a better twist keep the hunter to be behind a closed door room. And ask the others each carrying a turkey to hide their turkeys at different parts of the house. Wait for a few minutes and when everyone’s ready ask the hunter to start searching.
The paper turkey can be replaced by the kids themselves. Improvise the old hide-N-seek game to a ‘Turkey hunt’ by supplying a turkey mask to each of the children and asking each one to put it on their faces and hide themselves away in different places around the house.
Go As you Like: Ask the guests to join a go-as-you-like contest. In it each of the participants are required to take the guise of any character from the 1st thanksgiving feast by the Pilgrims and the Indian invitees. While some will sport the guise of a native Indian some will pose themselves as the Pilgrims. This will help recreate the ambience of the first feast.
- Other Activities:
If you have some more spare time before the dinner. Try this one out. Suggest that everyone write notes to family members and friends who couldn’t be with you on this night telling them why you’re grateful that they’re a part of your life and that you’re thinking of them. Have extra stationery, pens, and stamps so guests can join in. And if the writer allows, it can be read out.
- Dance Swap :
It’s best if you prepare ahead of time, asking the guests to bring CDs, tapes, or records of dance music of their choice. Allot each one a music from a special type so that there’s not much duplication. Break out the Charleston, the Stroll, the Electric Slide, or the Macarena. Ask a member of each generation teaches the rest of the family a dance from his or her youth.