Features practical ways to plan a Thanksgiving party as a single parent.
Will it be just you and your little one(s) celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Whatever the reason for this may be, make the occasion a love-filled and meaningful one just the same! With Thanksgiving being traditionally family-focused, we’ve put together these tips for a single-parent home to still create that warm sense of belonging and gratitude that’s at the heart of this holiday. Ideas for how to get the help you need from family, friends and your own child(ren)—and the big thank-you hugs afterwards!
Hosting a Thanksgiving Party: Tips for the Single Parent
Tip #1: Plan a small guest list that includes family or friends with kids to keep your child company.
Tip #2: Have your child help address the invitations and send them out early.
Tip #3: Decorate your home together in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, to avoid last-minute stress!
Tip #4: Involve your child in making the table elements ahead for a sweet, personalized touch.
Tip #5: Plan the menu to include make-ahead dishes and store-bought desserts.
Tip #6: Request guests to bring potluck items, including appetizers and wine.
Tip #7: Go non-traditional and have a ready-to-serve lobster meal instead of turkey—a symbol of change for a single-parent family.
Tip #8: Have a family member or friend come early to help with the party prep.
Tip #9: Offer for them to sleep over afterwards to help with the clean-up…with a breakfast reward in the morning!
Tip #10: Start your own traditions to make Thanksgiving truly memorable for your child each year.
How to Make These Thanksgiving Party Tips Work
Okay, so you’ve got the ideas. Now how do you make them happen easily, practically yet meaningfully for your own single-parent family? A key factor is your child’s (or children’s) involvement in the planning, the preparations and of course the partying come Thanksgiving Day!
Here are some inspiring finds to help you make the occasion work. Enjoy the party board (above) and click on their corresponding links below.
1 – Once you’ve planned your guest list, order online Thanksgiving invites like this lovely leafy one from Zazzle.
2 – Your kids will have even more fun addressing the invites with printable seasonal postage stamps, chosen from Zazzle again.
3 – As Thanksgiving nears, think of kid-friendly crafts to decorate your home with, such as a DIY tree of thanks (courtesy of Evite) and hundreds more projects you can find online.
4 & 9 – Time is a luxury for any parent, but perhaps more so for a single one. So take the practical route for your menu with make-ahead or store-bought desserts, like this pre-made pumpkin spice cake available on Amazon, or chocolate-covered Oreo cookies with a fall theme also available on Amazon.
7 – Make the party prep a team effort! With the help of a family member or friend—plus a lovely set of jacquard table linens like this one from Amazon—your table will be company-ready in no time.
8 – Embrace the concept of change as a single-parent family by replacing the traditional turkey with a lobster meal! There are ready-to-serve offers, like the Lobsterpalooza! Gram from Lobster Gram. Or if that’s too “out there” for you, consider a vegan or meat-free menu (see ideas from Serious Eats), served with sides like clam chowder, lobster thermidor, and pumpkin cheesecake or pumpkin pecan pie for dessert.
10 – Post-party clean-up is best shared, too! So make it a sleepover and reward yourselves with a homemade breakfast of Pumpkin Pie Pancakes, following this recipe from Betty Crocker.
11 – Finally, think of a meaningful tradition that will make lasting Thanksgiving memories for your family. Perhaps a Blessings Jar like this one from Marty’s Musings (via Parent Savvy), a care basket for some other family in need, or a turkey meal sent to a children’s hospital or homeless shelter.
Lastly, be sure to have guests help out with potluck items, like appetizers, snacks, and a nice wine trio, as in this ONE HOPE California Red Wine Mixed Pack available from Amazon.
Having one parent less in the family doesn’t mean you need celebrate any less, share any less, or be any less thankful. We hope our 10 tips have helped spark your own ideas for having a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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