Let there be no mistake — Thanksgiving is one of the best reasons ever invented to get friends, family, and food together. But as awesome as this holiday is, after years of celebrating it's easy to sink into a routine when it comes to Thanksgiving. Same old yams, same old turkey, same old holiday sweater, same old boring Thanksgiving. So if you're sick of doing the same thing year after year, why not go for something a little bit more exciting this season? Why not plan a themed Thanksgiving?
Before you say anything, hear me out for a second. You may not have had a themed anything since, say, your third grade birthday party, but if there's any way to get you out of your Thanksgiving day rut, it's by dressing up your dinner in the coolest way possible. Think of it as Halloween meets Thanksgiving — how can you not have a good time? And you don't have to go too over-the-top, either (although how cool would a zombie Thanksgiving be?). The beauty of any themed party is in the details. Dream up a menu with a few well-thought out dishes, add some strategic table decorations, and you're good to go.
No matter what theme you decide to go with, be it a French feast, a football-inspired menu, or a murder mystery, we've put together a list of a few simple guidelines to make sure your themed Turkey Day is the most successful and memorable you've had in years.
1. Pick something that's actually doable
When it comes to planning themed events, it's important to pick something that isn't going to send you over the edge when it comes to executing. Having an idea for a super specific or elaborate theme is awesome, but it can get muddled if it's too complex or if it ends up taking too much work. For example, it's harder to carry out an idea like having a 19th century French feast than it is to stick to something a little more open ended, like a French-inspired menu (I don't know — there's just something that seems hilarious about doing this on Thanksgiving). For the most part, going with something that is a bit more vague — and therefore more forgiving — is a lot easier to pull off, and ultimately will seem more successful to your guests.
2. Make sure it meshes with the food
It's more fun for you and your guests when whatever theme you pick can also be somehow incorporated into your food. For example, if you picked football as a theme, consider taking classic Thanksgiving dishes and putting a tailgate spin on them, such as making your turkey buffalo spiced, or serving sweet potato nachos. It's a fun way to incorporate your theme into your Thanksgiving feast, and a sure way to get all your guests into the spirit of things.
3. Don't leave your booze out of the mix
Working the night's drinks into your theme is the difference between a really well-executed themed dinner and a just alright one. Look into whatever the typical type of alcohol is that goes along with your theme, whether it's boozy punch, mixed drinks, beer, or wine, and purchase a stock pile of it to help the night move along swimmingly. Not only will it help set the mood of your theme, but theme-related alcohol will also help tell a great story. Bonus points if you learn to cheers in a way applicable to your theme.
4. Get creative with the decorations
You don't have to go spending a bunch of money, but even making some homemade decorations to set the mood of your theme can go a long way when it comes to the overall effect. Whether it's a playlist of certain music pertaining to your theme, different lighting, or hanging decorations, your guests will notice, and it will help them get into the spirit of the day's festivities, making it all the more memorable.
5. Dress the part
Dressing the part is important for any themed dinner. Throw on an outfit that goes along with your motif, or throw on some makeup that does the trick. Also be sure to encourage your guests to do the same — it adds to the spirit of things.
6. Think past dinner
Obviously the meal is a large part of Thanksgiving, but the evening doesn't stop there. Think of something fun for you and your guests to do after your dinner that goes along with your theme. Play a theme-related game such as a real life game of Clue for a murder mystery Thanksgiving, or play a football trivia game with prizes.
7. Let your guests know ahead of time
Letting your guests know about your Thanksgiving theme ahead of time allows them to prepare, dress up, and find something theme-related to bring with them to the party. Not to mention, it will get them super excited so that your Thanksgiving is the best yet.