Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to bring your friends together – not to mention a day off work or school. If you can’t make it home for your family’s Thanksgiving dinner this year, and just realized you’ve never made a meal that doesn’t require a microwave, don’t freak out! We’ve got you covered: decorations, meals, and even some leftover suggestions.

Get in the spirit with decorations!

Any experienced host knows how important decorations are for a holiday-themed party, dinner or event! It gets everyone in the spirit and makes a memorable night (and creates some great Instagram opportunities).

If décor isn’t your forte, here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Message Board: Have your roommates write what they are most thankful for on a paper leaf and pin it up!
  • Banner: Get creative with a “Happy Thanksgiving” banner with construction paper and string.
  • Hand-made turkey: Kick it old school by tracing your hand on some brown paper to make some handy turkeys (pun intended).
  • Don’t forget the pumpkins: If you’re pressed for time, you can always run to the dollar store and grab some faux pumpkins and leaves to sprinkle around.

Figure out what you’re going to eat!

  • Step 1: Plan your meal in advance: don’t wait until the last second to try and plan a huge meal. Do some research, and figure out what you’re going to eat (and how you’re going to cook it) well in advance so there are no surprises.
  • Step 2: Decide who’s buying what: to avoid having 3 turkeys and no mashed potatoes, make sure you and your guests decide who’s buying what. This is also a great way to cut expenses so one person doesn’t foot the entire bill.
  • Step 3: Get cooking: time to bust out the cookbooks (or the YouTube tutorials)! Don’t forget, turkeys can take hours to defrost, so make sure you plan accordingly – no one wants to eat dinner at 11 pm.

Remember, even if things don’t go perfectly with your meal, it’s OK! Thanksgiving is about bringing people together. Don’t worry about the small things – focus on your friends! And don’t forget, Thanksgiving always provides leftovers for weeks to come, so make some yummy turkey sandwiches or turkey noodle soup.

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