How to Host a Thanksgiving Potluck

As you plan this year’s holiday festivities, you may consider a joint cooking effort and how to host a Thanksgiving potluck that everyone will enjoy. A Thanksgiving potluck is a great opportunity to discover delicious recipes from your friends and family. You can host a pre-Thanksgiving celebration to test and exchange new recipes before the big day, or if you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner itself, opening it up as a potluck can alleviate the cooking burden.

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Here are a few tips for how to host a Thanksgiving potluck:

  • Guest list: Decide on the size of your guest list. Determine how many people can realistically fit in your home. Once you establish the number of guests, decide who to invite. Consider a group of family, friends, colleagues, or a combination.
  • Invitations: Select beautiful, free Thanksgiving invitations to invite your guests to the potluck. Send by text or email and manage your RSVPs online to keep track of attendees. Mention that the event is a potluck in the invitation wording.
  • Potluck list: After you create your invitation, Punchbowl will walk you through a menu of options, including a potluck tool. Use the potluck tool to create and manage your potluck list. Choose general categories such as appetizers, Thanksgiving potluck side dishes, and desserts, and let your guests decide what to bring. Alternatively, you can assign specific items for the Thanksgiving potluck meal such as green bean casserole, rolls, and apple crisp.
  • Update: Visit Punchbowl and update the potluck list at any time. Edit the list with items you discuss with guests over the phone. Take responsibility as the host and fill in the blanks for missing items from the list. Send a message to your guests a week or so before Thanksgiving and remind them to sign up for an item if they have not done so already.
  • Supplies: Provide the dishes, cutlery, napkins, and serving utensils for your guests. Have a power strip readily available for guests with crock pots. Consider party rentals such as tables, chairs, or linens.
With the food taken care of by the potluck, focus your efforts on the decorations and entertainment. Plan an activity to keep the party alive. Have the guests try all of the dishes and award a prize to the dish the guests vote as the best!
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