3 Ways Joanna Gaines Makes Guests Feel Welcome When Hosting Thanksgiving

Hosting your own Thanksgiving is a time-honored tradition, and it can be exciting to bring all your loved ones together to make new memories. Your home is already a welcoming space for people who have visited before, and newcomers will forever link your dwelling with happy times spent together on this special holiday. While having food and beverages readily available is a sure way to make people feel comfortable, there are several other factors to consider that will make your interior even more inviting. Joanna Gaines uses candles, music, and input from her guests to provide the most welcoming atmosphere when throwing a Thanksgiving dinner at her home.

This particular holiday brings people from every part of your life together, so creating an environment that makes people feel safe and better received is important. Gaines recommends having a scented candle lit for guests' arrivals so that your space smells good from the moment people enter. Many people associate memories and emotions with scent, so having a home that radiates indulgent and positive aromas helps visitors relax and enjoy themselves. While the food is sure to serve as an intoxicating scent, a nice scented candle will help everyone settle in and engage with their surroundings.

Set the mood with music

As the sounds of conversation fill your rooms and the delicious aroma of the holiday meal wafts around your guests, people will naturally find themselves sitting down to delve deeper into a chat or wandering around looking for interactions. By having a preselected soundtrack playing in the background of your Thanksgiving party, you can make people feel even more at peace or get them excited for the festivities. Jazz, Blues, and even some forms of Classical music are great options for keeping the mood light and airy, or you can design a playlist based on people's preferred genres and nostalgic picks that get everyone in a happy state of mind.

Make sure to keep the music at a reasonable volume. The more noise you have in the background, the louder people will talk to compensate. Keeping the music on a low volume that can still be heard but doesn't take away from the conversation is ideal, and placing your speaker in a room with good acoustics will help sounds carry without needing to crank it up. If you are hosting a large group, make sure to add several different genres or options so everyone gets a taste of what they like rather than focusing on only one type of music. After all, happy guests are the best guests!

Mix up your menu

In an ever-changing and evolving world, it might feel good to stick to certain traditions and keep some things the same. However, changing up Thanksgiving traditions by including your guests in cooking and menu decisions could result in an even more successful event. Gaines suggests including your guests when it comes to planning the dishes, allowing others to request sides or mains that they grew up eating and that could fall outside standard holiday selections. By giving others a say, you're making them feel even more welcome and giving them a taste of the nostalgia Thanksgiving is known for. 

You can either ask people to send you their ideas, which can then be incorporated into your menu, or you can save yourself some work and ask guests to bring the dishes of their choice. This allows people to feel more involved and helpful, while also stocking your table and introducing others to new recipes. From decorating your door, entryway, and main home to cooking for others, you are acting as a superb host, but sharing the work is good so you can indulge in the festivities as well. If there is too much food for one sitting, suggest offering some items as appetizers or snacks while the main meal cooks, or grab some inexpensive Tupperware from the store so people can take home leftovers. Not only will this help with cleanup, but everyone can enjoy food they might not have tried during the feast!