Thanksgiving is only 24 days away!!! Are you ready to host family and friends around your table? | Home & Garden

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Thanksgiving is only 24 days away!!! Are you ready to host family and friends around your table?
Home & Garden

Here are some tips:

Prepare for the Feast

Plan ahead. The key to minimizing holiday-induced anxiety is to plan in advance. Take inventory now to make sure you have the essentials you will need to serve your holiday meal - both basics and serving pieces.

Save time and space. Use serving pieces with warming trays to free up essential cooking space on your stove. To create additional space in your oven, use a three-tier oven rack on one side that leaves the other side open for more bulky food allowing you to cook more than one dish at a time.

Think off the wall. If you're hosting a buffet, set up the buffet table away from the wall to utilize both sides of the table to serve food. Add unique, multi-level serving dishes to give your table a fresh look.

Offer your guests a choice. Set up at least 2 urns for your party, one with coffee and one with hot water for the tea drinkers. Consider a third for decaf.

Gear up for the Guests

Once you've prepared for your holiday feast, give your home a fresh face with a few simple and affordable updates.

Seasonal solution. Transform your entertaining area by replacing sheer window treatments with more luxurious ones made of taffeta or chenille in warm, rich colors of the season. Pick the length that suits your style. More formal looks are achieved with longer treatments. Drape a throw in a rich burgundy or chocolate over the back of your couch and update your decorative pillows with covers that tie in with your existing décor.

Bathroom makeover. It doesn't take a coat of paint to freshen up the guest bathroom. A new bath ensemble and some decorative seasonal hand towels will do the trick. Fresh flowers and scented lotion on the counter are welcoming treats.

Guest bedroom blues. Looking to breathe some life into a guest bedroom? Start with the bedding. Since it's typically the biggest piece of décor in the room, changing the bedding alters the overall look and feel of the room. Add several extra pillows to the bed for that picture perfect catalog look.

Entertaining essentials. Being prepared helps avoid last-minute panic. For the main event, make sure you have enough chairs for guests (including folding chairs) and consider whether you need an extra folding table to serve as a "kids" table or dessert station. For overnight guests, be sure you have clean towels and sheets and that you can put your hand on the extra inflatable mattress in case of a surprise guest.

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