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Party Ideas From Your (Antisocial) Holiday Hostess With the Mostest

I was just scheduling one of our dental patients for December 21st, our last day in the office for 2018, and said we'll see them next week, then thought that couldn't possibly be right. December 21st is next week?! Where the heck has my year gone?

I'd better publish this post before it turns into Merry Thanksgivmas.


SN and I hosted Thanksgiving in our new home this year. Despite all our antisocial impulses (we're essentially hermits), we had a blast! Bring on the socializing! 

modern alternative to deer head in mountain dream home
Actually, we did bring on the socializing with another small dinner party and overnight guests the very next weekend. And that was quite enough for these two introverts. No more socializing until next year, please.

We went even bigger and better than last year's Thanksgiving. We even had a seating chart! Martha Stewart would be so proud.

colorful invitation for thanksgiving
#1 must-have item when hosting Thanksgiving = adorable turkey invitations

I made these, and the other printables in this post, for free in Canva and emailed them to our guests. I've blacked out our personal information because I probably already overshare way too much personal stuff with you blog readers...like this.

I just searched my blog for "TMI" and expected to get 2 or 3 results. The scrolling went on forever.

thanksgiving menu to print
#2 must-have item when hosting Thanksgiving = elegant printed menus

This is a great way to hold your guests to their potluck dishes, rather than just crossing your fingers that 5 people aren't going to bring rolls. There was also a ham but it was a last minute addition that didn't make it onto the menu.

fun games to play at thanksgiving
#3 must-have item when hosting Thanksgiving = Thanksgiving Bingo cards because that's a real thing now

(Betcha didn't see this one coming.) 

thanksgiving home decor
See those cute pumpkin bowls at each place setting? I bought 16 of them just two days before Thanksgiving, along with lots of new forks, porcelain tasting spoons (!), dish towels, mini trifle glasses, potholders, and more. 

Word of warning - don't shop before hosting a party, not even online. It gets expensive very quickly.

No, really. I ordered all this stuff from Cost Plus World Market and when I went to pick up my order, multiple employees remarked that it was the big order. When they brought it up from the back, it was in TWO shopping carts.

unique home decorating ideas
 See those fresh-cut evergreen branches on the table? I gathered them from our 13 acre property the afternoon before and tucked those little Cuties mandarin oranges into them for extra color. 

I forgot all about the popcorn candle decor I made last year - whoops.

Our new house is perfect for hosting large parties. We've determined we can comfortably seat up to 28 people at 2 long tables in our living room. Dishes are no problem with our two dishwashers. 

white kitchen with brick backsplash and vaulted ceiling
Well, actually they are a teensie bit of a problem because both dishwashers suck. Everyone says to get a Bosch. Don't listen to them. We had a 20-year-old Whirlpool in our old house and it worked better than either of these. Things come out dirtier than they went in. My Bosch dishwasher review? THEY. SUCK.

Darn you, Bosch dishwashers.

But I'm getting off topic and out of the holiday spirit. It's not very hostess-like.

parents at thanksgiving dinner
SN's parents

table set with ceramic pumpkins from cost plus world market
My parents (on the right)

I'll have to have them pose for a better photo next year.

relatives talking during the holidays
See that shelf with the pumpkin in the background? SN finished building that the day before Thanksgiving, along with several other projects. Whew! 

crock pot mulled wine at thanksgiving
It looks like our Crock Pots of mulled wine and hot cider were a hit. 

stone fireplace in mountain home
The cranberries in each champagne flute were not a hit, although it was hilarious to watch one of our guests try to pour his out without anyone noticing. (We noticed. Hee, hee.) They were pretty. 

Plus, I still have so many bags of cranberries to use up from my shopping spree last year.

thanksgiving tablescape
My dad with a big plate of dessert because diabetes and a recent near-death heart attack don't count on Thanksgiving.

*rolls eyes

how to seat a crowd for thanksgiving
He's going back for seconds of dessert! Ack! 

bar cart set up for thanksgiving entertaining
Off in the distance is a bar cart, which we hope to have replaced with a cabinet and countertop by next Thanksgiving. Or maybe a china hutch to store my 16 ceramic pumpkin bowls.   

OMG, I just checked the Cost Plus World Market site and they have 5 ceramic pumpkins left, insanely marked down because it's December. Make that 21 ceramic pumpkin bowls.

warm wood ceiling
Our little Pica puppy has really slowed down in her old age. Despite all the commotion (or perhaps as a result of it), she conked out right in the middle of the room for a long nap right after this photo was taken.   

every holiday needs sparkling cider
What is everyone looking at?? 

Entertaining Tip: Rather than throwing money away on fresh flowers, decorate with potted edible flowers, like pansies, and herbs. You can use them to make your food extra-special (aren't all desserts better when topped with a sprig of mint?) and can place them in containers that match your decor. Plus, you can buy them well in advance of your event. Weeks after the party, mine are still going strong.

dessert table set for thanksgiving
There was a dessert buffet featuring assorted pies, puddings, cakes, and homemade candy. Around the corner was a decaf coffee bar. Everything ended up drizzled with DIY salted caramel sauce (with just a hint of crushed red pepper)(!) because DIY salted caramel sauce is amazing.

Today alone, I've added it to coffee, an English muffin, and sweet potato fries. 

dessert menu for thanksgiving
I've never considered myself to be the crafty type, but making this was pretty fun. Does it still count as crafty if it's mostly on the computer?

dessert buffet and coffee bar
2019 = the new BEST Thanksgiving ever, so send me your genius ideas!

Update: 2019 was the WORST Thanksgiving ever...because it was canceled! (Also, I was super depressed. Did anyone notice?) Details here.

holiday entertaining ideas from your antisocial hostess with the mostess
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