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The Stress-Free Guide: Hosting Your First Thanksgiving in Your New Home

Thanksgiving every year is a holiday families look forward to. But this year is extra special … you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving in your brand-new home. We know you’ll want to make this year even more memorable than usual without the added stress of doing “more.”

Try our helpful tips for creating a day that’s extraordinary yet easy for you and your family!

 

TIP 1: Plan ahead. Fail to plan, plan to … be stressed!

Get organized early and you’ll fly through the holiday with ease. Start here:

  • Create a menu & grocery list of all ingredients and supplies:
    • Include alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to provide options for those that don’t drink or aren’t of age
    • Look up the grocery store’s current promotions & coupons to save as much as you can
    • Don’t forget non-food items:
      • Festive napkins
      • Appetizer plates
      • Table cloth
      • Tables and chairs
    • Create a guest list and send invites well in advance
      Most families plan ahead for the holidays. Get the word out that you are hosting and encourage people to RSVP as soon as possible. As a nice gesture, create a mail-delivered or specially-designed online invite to show your closest friends and relatives that you would really enjoy their company!
    • Prepare a schedule for the weeks leading up to dinner. Assign roles to different family members to help with the prep.
    • Think about logistics: Where will you set up tables? Where will the guests sit? Where will the food be served – on the dinner table or buffet-style in the kitchen? Will you have a separate help-yourself bar? Are you serving appetizers prior to dinner? Where should you designate the kids-only area? Do you need to acquire more tables and chairs? Will sports or music be playing? If yes to music, create a festive playlist that would appeal to everyone’s tastes.

TIP 2: Decide on your decorations.

Since you’re fresh off a new home build, your dream home is likely to look like just that … a dream. That means you just need to spruce it up with a few seasonal staples, and they don’t even need to be fancy or expensive!

  • Go out in nature to grab holly or berries.
  • Get a couple bouquets of flowers and mix and match them throughout the house (Trader Joes has fabulous floral finds that are budget friendly). The best fall flowers are Snakeroot, Sweet Alyssum, Goldenrod, Helenium (comes in red, orange or yellow), Pansy and Purple Fountain Grass. Mums are also a pretty touch to the front porch.
  • Mini pumpkins and gourds in a variety of colors and sizes to sprinkle on the dinner table, entry way bench, bathroom vanity and living room side tables.
  • Small and large bowls of season fruits for an extra aesthetic “pop”

TIP 3:Prep the high-traffic rooms beforehand.

Begin the day with a clean kitchen, as well as empty dishwasher and trash cans (don’t forget the small bathroom ones). Remove breakable items and fragile furniture so they aren’t ruined by hyper children or red wine sipping guests. Double line your trash cans so when one bag fills up, you can easily move to the next. Make room in your hallway closet for guest’s shoes and coats.

 

TIP 4: Prepare for overnight guests:

For the planned overnight guests and the ones that may have indulged a little too much in your bloody mary bar … follow the below check-list to ensure they have a hotel-like stay:

  • Make guest beds with fresh linens
  • Set out large towels and washcloths on the beds
  • Stock the guest bathrooms with necessities. Grab a few mason jars and fill with q-tips, cotton balls, face wash toothpaste and extra tooth brushes, mouthwash and any other consumable your guest might need during their stay.

TIP 5: Get your stash of cleaning supplies ready to go …

Thanksgiving never goes by without a spill or two! For all-natural home cleaning remedies, be sure to read our previous blog. Here’s a quick guide though:

    • Coffee splatters: White vinegar
    • Red wine spots: White wine (believe it or not)
    • All other major food and drink slips: Tide to Go or baking soda in warm water

TIP 6: Cook in Advance:

Don’t bring on unnecessary stress for yourself by cooking everything on Thanksgiving Day. When creating your menu, make sure to include a timeline for yourself, too. Outline which dishes can be made ahead of time and which ones need to be cooked the day of. For a quick reference, foods that can be pre-made:

  • Casseroles
  • Chopped veggies (slice and bag, but don’t cook)
  • Stuffing, rice or any pasta-based concoctions
  • Salads

Rule of thumb: Almost everything can be pre-made besides the turkey or meat of choice. The rest can be prepped, so it’s ready to be popped in the oven or on the stove top.

TIP 7: Set the table as well as the appetizer and drink area a few days before.

Taking care of smaller tasks, like setting the table, will lessen your load leading up to the “big day.”

A little word to the wise: When planning a seating chart, place yourself closes to the kitchen and seat lefties at the corners, so they’ll be able to eat without hitting their neighbor. Have a “grown ups” table and a “kids-only” table and use place cards to make people feel special (and to avoid any confusion come dinner time).

If you’re providing a drink and/or appetizer bar, neatly line up wine, beer and cocktail glasses, lay out cocktail napkins, appetizer plates and serving china (or dishes). Serving and regular utensils can be placed in a decorative basket for easy organization.

TIP 8: Set-Up a Kid-Focused Area/Room

Well all know that parents enjoy their mingle time on holidays. To make sure the kids are taken care of and enjoying themselves too, designate a specific room or area that’s in sight and outfit it with toys, games, crafts and other activities. Mom and Dad will thank you.

TIP 9: Add a nice holiday scent to your home.

Light candles or add air freshers to the main rooms that your guests will be enjoying themselves: the bathrooms, kitchen and living room. Pumpkin Spice, Apple Cinnamon, Pine Needles or Fireside Smores are the best fragrances for the Fall season.

Not settled in your dream home yet, but would love to enjoy the holidays in it? It’s your lucky day. Our Year-End Savings promotion is going through the end of the year: put a contract on a new home and get up to $5,000 in closing costs plus a “Move-In Package” complete with a FREE Whirlpool washer, dryer and refrigerator!

Give one of our friendly new home specialists a call today (910- 672-7491) or fill out the form below to ask any questions and/or schedule a tour.

From the McKee Homes family to yours, we wish you a magical Thanksgiving season!

 

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New Construction In Raleigh NC

McKee Homes has been a Raleigh NC home builder since 2013. We were established in Fayetteville in 2010, but began new construction in Raleigh NC six years ago with Summerwind Plantation in Garner, just south of Raleigh. Since then, we have opened new home communities in Raleigh, Clayton, Knightdale, Wake Forest and Fuquay-Varina.

Copper Pond
2265 Copper Pond Way, Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526
From the mid $300s | 2225-3637 sq. ft.

Copper Pond is a beautiful new home community offering large-lot homesites in a quiet country setting just minutes from downtown Fuquay Varina. We have several floor plans on crawl spaces to choose from, some with Owners Suites on the first floor. Enjoy the town’s attractions, such as the Annual Balloon Festival, Fourth of July Fireworks Show, great restaurants and shops.

Evergreen at Flowers Plantation
100 Bramble Lane, Clayton, NC 27527
From the high $200’s | 1,780-3,000 sq. ft.

Evergreen at Flowers Plantation is a 55+ Active Adult Community in Clayton, NC, just 20 miles from downtown Raleigh. Evergreen features our Epcon single-family homes. With minimal steps between indoor and outdoor spaces, extra-wide interior doorways and large open floorplans, these homes are made for entertaining and enjoying life. You can enjoy your weekends again too at Evergreen because the yards are maintained by the HOA giving you plenty of time to enjoy the organized activities and resort-style amenities.

Falls Creek
Falls Creek Drive, Youngsville, NC 27596
From the low $300s | 2,225-3,972 sq. ft.

Falls Creek is a beautiful new home community in Franklin County just over the Wake County line in the quaint town of Youngsville, NC near Wake Forest. Falls Creek offers a quiet friendly environment, highly rated schools and easy access to Wake Forest and Raleigh. There are 57 large lots ranging in size from 0.58 acres to 1.89 acres.

Townes at Gateway Commons
Gateway Commons Circle. Wake Forest, NC 27587
New Townhomes Coming Soon!

A new 77-unit townhome development in Wake Forest by McKee Homes. The townhomes will be located adjacent to the Gateway Commons shopping center less than 3 miles from downtown Wake Forest. Very close to the highly rated Wake Forest Charter Academy and shopping. Join our VIP list to get early notification about floor plans, lot availability, pricing and incentives!

Heather Glen
1000 Sky Wave Trail, Raleigh, NC 27603
From the low $300’s | 2,225-3,965 sq. ft.

Heather Glen offers a quiet country setting just 12 miles south of downtown Raleigh for the best of both worlds. With large lots and a variety of floor plans to choose from, Heather Glen is an ideal neighborhood located just minutes from Lake Benson in Garner off Jordan Road near Ten Ten Road.

Johns Pointe
4032 Cane Garden Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610
New Phase Coming 2020

Johns Pointe is only 8 miles from downtown Raleigh with all it has to offer including entertainment at the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, museums, shopping at White Oak Crossing, and convenient access to I-40 and I-440.

Our last phase in Johns Pointe sold out quickly, but we have a new phase with additional lots coming in 2020. This will be one of our hottest communities for new construction in Raleigh NC. Join our VIP list to get early notification about floor plans, lot availability, pricing and incentives!

Knightdale Station
714 Sunland Drive, Knightdale, NC 27545
From the low $300s | 2,225-3,600 sq. ft.

Knightdale Station is a large master-planned community in Knightdale, NC. At the center of the community is Knightdale Station Park, a 76-acre park in eastern Wake County. It includes two miles of paved trails, picnic shelters, the Ashley Wilder Dog Park, athletic fields, restrooms and a large playground. The farm and train-themed playground serves as a reminder of Knightdale’s agricultural and railroad centered past. With a private school and YMCA right next to the community Knightdale Station is an ideal family-friendly neighborhood.

Summerwind Plantation
534 Summerwind Plantation Drive, Garner, NC 27529
From the mid $200’s | 1793-2932 sq. ft.

Summerwind Plantation by McKee Homes is an established Garner community located near I-40 and Highway 42 in the Cleveland area of Johnston County. Summerwind Plantation features new single-family homes from the mid $200s. Amenities include a pool and bath house.  Convenient to both Raleigh and Fayetteville/Fort Bragg!

More Info

Give us a call at 919-344-0906 or visit us online to schedule an appointment to see beautiful new homes at our Raleigh NC new home communities. McKee Homes is continuing to expand our new construction in Raleigh NC and will be opening additional new single-family and townhome communities in the future.