Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it’s your turn to host family and friends. Whether it’s your first time or you do this every year, there’s a lot to do and remember. You want it to be fun for everyone, but you also want everyone to be safe.
Here’s what you need to know to be a good — and responsible — Thanksgiving host.
If you can’t imagine eating a family dinner without a glass of wine, you’re not alone. But as the host, you need to be careful about your guests’s alcohol consumption. Social host laws hold that a party host can be found legally responsible (and liable) for what happens when guests are served alcohol by the host.
- Underage drinking is illegal, but if you serve the drinks, and they get into an accident you’ll be in the middle of a legal mess.
- Guests who drive under the influence and cause an accident after your party could cause you to get sued by the victim.
- If someone drinks too much and hurts themselves later, you might be liable for their damages.
The best way to avoid this problem is to limit the alcohol served, always offer non-alcoholic options, and get an Uber or Lyft for friends and family when they’ve been drinking. If you’re hosting a large gathering, check with your independent insurance agent to make sure you have enough coverage or to find out if you need a special rider for your homeowners insurance policy.
Avoid Fire Hazards
It’s Thanksgiving, and you’re probably going to have turkey. Avoid the temptation to fry your turkey. Not only is it a fire hazard to your home, splashed or spilled oil could cause serious injury to a guest. So many precautions have to be taken to safely fry a turkey that the stress alone may not be worth the effort.
If there’s a chill in the air, and you decide to light the fire on Thanksgiving, make sure you take precautions to keep everyone safe. Remove flammable objects from around the fireplace. Don’t allow children or pets near the fire while unsupervised. Only use safe materials and make sure someone who’s responsible and experienced watches over the fire.
Make Thanksgiving Easier on Yourself
It’s tempting to take on all the work when you’re the host for Thanksgiving. You want things to be just right and for everyone to have a good time. But you don’t have to do everything on your own to make it a good day for your friends and family. Give yourself a break, and let others help you out.
- Ask everyone to bring a side dish or dessert. If you worry you’ll have 10 pumpkin pies and no potatoes, tell everyone which (side or dessert) they should bring. But let’s be honest – is there really anything wrong with having 10 pumpkin pies?
- Accept offers to help you clean up the kitchen. If members of your family like to duck out and ignore the mess, give them other jobs to help out.
- Focus on being together instead of setting the “perfect” table. A beautiful table is nice, but it’s the time spent with your family that matters most.
Before Thanksgiving, get yourself ready to be a good and responsible host. Make a list of what you need. Divide the tasks up among your family. And contact your insurance agent to make sure you’ve got enough coverage to weather whatever the day brings.