Tips for Hosting a Thanksgiving Family Reunion

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One of the greatest things to be thankful for is family, and what better way to give thanks than to gather everyone together for a Thanksgiving family reunion? Chances are, everyone has a group that they tend to spend it with every single year, those who they love that live nearby. It’s just not realistic to get together for every single holiday or family function.

With careful planning, and with enough heads up, you can make this possible! Not only is it a great idea to have a family reunion for Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving is in the fall which is a beautiful time to be outdoors enjoying everything that fall has to offer.

Planning a Thanksgiving Family Reunion

When deciding whether or not to have a Thanksgiving family reunion, one of the biggest questions that always pops up is “should I actually plan it on Thanksgiving day?” This is a very valid question, indeed, and requires much thought. Think about this:

Extended family: It is likely that extended family members are usually spending Thanksgiving time with the family members close to you, such as your brother’s sister-in-law’s cousins. Do you think it would be unfair to exclude them?

Budget: How many people can you really afford to attend the reunion? If you do want to have it on Thanksgiving day, then it’s a good idea to try to at least invite each person who normally spends it with those you planned to invite initially. (This leaves little room for complaints!) You can cut food costs by having a Thanksgiving potluck!

Take a poll: You can’t have any kind of family reunion without family and it can be harder to get people to agree to having it over a holiday. You need to first see how many willing participants you have, and also ask people to explain why their answer may be a “no” so you can try to find ways to turn those “nays” into “yays!”

Planning The Menu

So it’s set, you’re having a Thanksgiving family reunion, but now you need to think about one of the biggest expenses related to Thanksgiving: The food! So whether you’re doing all of the cooking yourself (I salute you!) or you’re having a potluck, here’s an idea on how much food you will need:

  • Turkey: You will need a whole lot of turkey no matter what; it’s Thanksgiving after all! Rule of thumb says to buy a pound for each person who will be present, even count infants to compensate for your uncle who might eat his weight in turkey. So for a 100 person reunion, you’ll need a 100 lbs of turkey! Just 20 people? 20 lbs of turkey.
  • Stuffing: How much stuffing will you need? Plan for 1/2 – 3/4 cup of prepared stuffing per person. So for a dinner for 20 people, you’re looking at at least 10 cups of stuffing. For 50 people, you’ll be looking at anywhere from 25 – 37 cups of the stuff!
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes: A fair estimate for potatoes is 3 lbs for every eight guests. This means for 20 people, you’ll need about 8 lbs of potatoes. 50 people? 19 lbs. 100 people? 38 lbs!
  • Green beans: If you are making the green beans, then you will need to know how much to buy! 1 lb for every four guests is a good estimate, so 20 people, you will need 5 lbs, 50 people will require about 13 lbs, and 100 people should have a heaping 25 lbs of green beans!
  • Dinner rolls: Think of how many dinner rolls each person typically eats. To make sure you have enough for everyone, plan 2 rolls for every person in attendance.
  • Pumpkin pie: Or any kind of pie, you will want to have one pie for every 6 people. So if you have 20 people, round up to 4 pies. 50 people? Nine pies. 100 people? 17 pies!

Of course there is going to be other things that will be served so you can use the above estimates to make an educated guess as to how much you will need to buy for anything else. If you need more of a guide, I found this guide on the Good Housekeeping website that might just come in handy. That’s a lot of food!

Laura is the force behind Gathered Again, transforming family gatherings into unforgettable memories with expert tips and a heart full of passion. Join her mission to celebrate the magic of family connections, one event at a time.

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