You know the saying about too many cooks in the kitchen? Well, that expression is especially true when hosting a Thanksgiving dinner with another person. Whether you and your bestie are throwing a Friendsgiving or you and your spouse are entertaining your in-laws, sharing the responsibility of hosting the holiday with another person is stressful and complicated. It can also be totally rewarding (because there is no way you want to chop all of the vegetables by yourself), as long as you are conscious of the fact that there are two of you doing the work together.
Just like with anything, patience and compromise are going to be key to having a pleasant experience of co-hosting the holiday. And make sure that in the hectic mess of hosting you don't lose sight of what this celebration is all about. Be thankful that you have a friend, significant other, or spouse to throw a party with and enjoy the process, no matter how crazy it may get. But just in case the stress of cooking a turkey and cleaning the house leaves you short on gratitude, here are a few tips to help you co-host Thanksgiving without wanting to throw your co-chef in the oven (or down an entire bottle of wine.)
1. Have A Game Plan
Some things are fun when you fly by the seat of your pants. Thanksgiving is not one of those things. With so many moving parts and a giant bird roasting in the oven, you and your co-host need to have a general idea of how the day is going to run. Take the time the week before to plan out everything to the best of your ability, from what flatware you're going to use to how you'll manage seating to knowing the timing of when each dish will be prepped, cooked and served.
2. But Perpare For Something To Go Wrong
No matter how Monica Geller-esque your planning and organization may be, come to terms now with the fact that something will go wrong. Guests will arrive late, something will break, something won't be ready when you thought it would be — inevitably, at least one of these minor tragedies will occur. But don't sweat it! If you've done your prep work, you'll have enough of the other elements in order that you can quickly and calmly deal with the disaster.
3. Divvy Up Duties
You're tag-teaming the day, not every single aspect of it. Chances are you'll both need to do some cooking, but find a way to partition out the other duties of the event. Before Thursday, have one person be Mr. Clean and get the house spic and span while the other can channel Martha Stewart and add some festive decorations. For the day of, name someone designated door greeter while the other will be appointed bartender. Figure out how you'll divide the clean up, too — no way only one of you is going to be left with the aftermath of hosting.
4. Don't Rely On Venmo
Hosting is expensive, and one of the benefits of joint-hosting your Thanksgiving is getting to split the price tag. And while technology has made it easy for us to transfer money from one friend to another, don't just assume it'll all work out in the end. Keep all of your receipts, and make sure your friend keeps hers, too. And when you do your big grocery shop (which will be the heftiest chunk of the budget), definitely go together. This way, you can split that bill right at the cash register. Otherwise, one of you might be left waiting for a sizeable chunk of change for a while, which does not a happy hosting environment make.
5. Decide Things Together
The worst part of hosting with another person is when one of you feels that the other is making all of the decisions. You chose to do this together, presumably, because you like each other. So not only do you want to share the responsibilities, but you also want to share the fun stuff too. For all of the major (and even the minor) choices, consult one another. Where will you set up the main table? What color napkins should we have? What's on our dinner playlist? The more you can make choices as a team, the more the whole event will truly feel like a joint effort. And that's the goal, here.
6. But Know That Not Everything Needs To Be Discussed
While all of your pre-planning should happen as a team, on the actual day there is going to be so much chaos that, inevitably, you'll have to make a split second decision at one point or another. At this point, don't feel the need to check on everything with your other half, especially if it's a kitchen disaster or emergency. You'll both end up making quick decisions throughout the day about the food, the decor and the guests, and you'll just have to both be ready accept that.
7. Don't Be Too Controlling
You probably have an exact idea in your head of how you'd like your event to go. Hosting is exciting, and you want to make sure the day goes perfectly.But if you're co-hosting, you're going to have to let go of some of those ideas to accommodate what your partner has envisioned. Don't be overly controlling when planning and executing your Thanksgiving party. Share the duties and the fun of it. If you both follow this rule and respect one another, you'll be able to get through the holiday without anyone taking a baster to the face.