A guide to hosting an Effortless Thanksgiving

by Hafla
Thanksgiving with family & friends

Thanksgiving is the celebration of the bountiful harvest season. On this day friends and family gather to celebrate and offer heartfelt gratitude for the harvest and abundance. The season of harvest is celebrated across various cultures and countries across the globe, though they are known by different names across the world. As the time of harvest is different across the globe, which primarily depends on the soil and weather conditions of a particular region, so does the time of celebration of the harvest season.

This year Dubai will celebrate Thanksgiving on 23 November 2023, Thursday. Although Thanksgiving has its deep roots in religious and cultural contexts, with time it has imbibed a secular and logical reason for celebration. This day is also a national holiday in the USA & Canada.

Thanksgiving is largely celebrated by organizing a lunch or a dinner with family and friends. Certain delicacies are specific and traditional to Thanksgiving. The classic Thanksgiving recipes are roast turkey, roasted vegetables, Pumpkin, and apple pie, to name a few. With Thanksgiving around the corner, there are numerous ways to celebrate this day full of gratitude.

 Listed below is a guide for hosting an effortless Thanksgiving: 

Thanksgiving with family & friends

 Organize a lavish lunch or dinner at home

The best way to celebrate & offer gratitude for the harvest and the blessings is by organizing an intimate and warm lunch or dinner with family and friends. The atmosphere at home not only creates a comforting space but is also a source of activities like fun games, creative activities, and more with our loved ones. Everyone is always at ease and off their guard in a home environment.

Thanksgiving dinner ideas:

Traditional Feast Vegetarian Delight International Fusion

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


Spinach and Artichoke Dip


Thai-Inspired Pumpkin Soup


Stuffed Mushrooms


Caprese Skewers


Pomegranate Glazed Meatballs


Cranberry Moscow Mule


Elderflower Spritz


Cranberry Margarita

Main Course:

Roast Turkey with Herb Butter

Main Course:

Vegetarian Wellington

Main Course:

Asian-Inspired Tofu Stir-Fry

Side Dishes:

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Side Dishes:

Quinoa and Cranberry Pilaf

Side Dishes:

Moroccan Spiced Carrots


Pumpkin Pie


Vegan Apple Crisp


Matcha Green Tea Tiramisu

Glass dining pack Dining table & chair setup


Essential tips for the host

  • Plan Ahead: Create a detailed menu and shopping list well in advance to stay organized and ensure you have all the necessary ingredients.
  • Set the Table the Night Before.
  • Thaw the Turkey in Advance: If using a frozen turkey, allow ample time for it to thaw in the refrigerator.
  • Prep Ingredients Ahead of Time: Chop vegetables, prepare stuffing, and measure out ingredients the day before to save time on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Offer a Variety of Side Dishes: Include an array of side dishes to cater to different tastes and dietary preferences.
  • Check Your Utensils: Ensure you have enough flatware and gather essential serving utensils for all your guests.
  • Verify Cookware and Dishes: Double-check that you have the necessary pots, pans, serving platters, and dinnerware ready for use.
  • Delegate Tasks: Don’t hesitate to ask for help or consider a potluck. Assigning specific dishes or tasks to guests such as Bring Ice, Bring Your Own Booz. etc
  • Practice Kitchen Safety: Be mindful of safety in the kitchen. Keep hot surfaces, sharp knives, and open flames in mind to prevent accidents.

Rent Crockery and Cutlery Set Rent buffet table Chafing dish on rent

Rent wine glass

Classic Thanksgiving delicacies

Prepare the classic Thanksgiving delicacies

Thanksgiving celebration is incomplete without traditional delicacies like roast turkey, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and more. The best way to personalize the meal is by preparing all the classics with your loved ones at home. Cooking the meal yourself not only gives great taste to the meal but it’s a great way to form a deeper connection with the meal and the people who you cook with. A home-cooked meal prepared with love can win over even a Michelin-star Chef!

Tips for cooking a perfect Thanksgiving turkey

  • It’s recommended to allow 24 hours of thawing time for every 2.27 kilograms (5 pounds) of turkey.
  • To ensure the turkey is cooked to perfection, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature (Don’t touch the bons). The thickest part of the turkey should reach at least 74°C (165°F).
  • Basting the turkey with pan drippings or a flavored liquid helps keep it moist and adds flavor. Baste every 30 minutes or so during cooking.
  • Allow the cooked turkey to rest for at least 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to be redistributed, resulting in juicier meat.
  • If certain parts of the turkey are browning too quickly, cover them with foil to prevent overcooking.

Dining table decorated with candles & flowers

 Embellish your home for Thanksgiving

Anything that is clean and beautifully guarded and kept, creates a beautiful aura around it. This Thanksgiving create a warm and inviting aura in your house with beautiful real flowers, candles, fragrances, decorative lights, and some elegant decor for the living room. The best way to enhance the beauty and aesthetics of your house is by first decluttering your home of any unnecessary products, keeping the space clean, and then adding some new elements to the decor. 

 For every new product that you choose to bring into your house, discard or give away an old product to your friend or someone who would appreciate the Passover of the product. This not only keeps the home clutter-free but is also a good way to lessen the waste disposal burden on the environment. 

A gift box wrapped with orange ribbon

 Surprise your guests with a thoughtful Thanksgiving gift

Build a deeper connection with your guests by surprising them with some thoughtful Thanksgiving gifts. You don’t have to go overboard with the gifts. They just need to be thoughtful and useful. 

Thoughtful Thanksgiving gift ideas



Gifts For Gift Ideas
Host/Hostess 1. Gourmet food basket with seasonal treats and snacks
2. Thanksgiving-themed wine or cocktail glasses
3. Festive tablecloth or table runner with autumn motifs
4. Decorative pumpkin or fall-themed centerpiece
5. Handcrafted candles in warm, seasonal scents
Family 1. Board games or puzzles for quality time together
2. Customized family tree artwork or keepsake
3. Gratitude journal for recording thankful moments
4. Cozy throw blankets with autumn colors and patterns
5. Baking kit with ingredients for making pumpkin treats
Friends 1. Scented candles in seasonal fragrances
2. Personalized recipe book filled with favorite dishes
3. Autumn-scented hand soaps or lotions
4. Festive mugs or cups for enjoying warm beverages
5. Gift card for a local bakery or speciality food store
Children 1. Thanksgiving-themed coloring books or activity sets
2. Stuffed animals in the likeness of fall creatures
3. Mini pumpkin decorating kits for creative fun
4. Storybooks with Thanksgiving and gratitude themes
5. Seasonal pajamas or clothing with autumn patterns
Colleagues 1. Desk accessories with autumn-inspired designs
2. Gourmet coffee or tea selection for cozy breaks
3. Desk plant or succulent in a fall-themed pot
4. Thank-you note cards with a personalized touch
5. Stress-relief items like scented candles or stress balls

Dining Table set-up for thankgiving

 Book a table at your favorite restaurant

If you are running short of time to make all the preparations for a Thanksgiving meal then you can book a table at some of the popular restaurants that will be hosting Thanksgiving. Many restaurants are gearing up for this special day by curating special menus around Thanksgiving and decorating the space extravagantly. It is best to book your table in advance to avoid last-minute unavailability due to rush.

 With so many possibilities for creating the most memorable Thanksgiving, you can rent out some dining table set-up or pick individual products that would be a great addition to the Thanksgiving set-up. A dining table, candle stand, crockery set, decoration lights, flowers, and more can be a part of your celebration by renting them out from the specially curated Thanksgiving collection at Hafla. Let’s make this Thanksgiving memorable by curating a wonderful space filled with warmth and beauty for our loved ones and offering thanks for all the abundance we are blessed with.

Thanksgiving Collection

Thanksgiving prayers & quotes 

Father God, today I thank You for the provisions of my life… I thank You for the people in my life… I thank You for the opportunities You have given to me in my life..



Thank you, Lord, for the blessings you have bestowed on my life. You have provided me with more than I could ever have imagined


Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot – Hansa Proverb



A moment of gratitude makes a difference in your attitude – Bruce Wilkinson

 Happy Thanksgiving!

Frequently Asked Questions on Thanksgiving 

Is Thanksgiving celebrated in the Middle East?

Yes, Thanksgiving is celebrated in the Middle East.

Where can I go for Thanksgiving dinner in Dubai?

Most restaurants in Dubai will be organizing Thanksgiving Dinners. You can visit your preferred restaurant to learn more about it.

Is Thanksgiving a Turkish holiday?

No, Thanksgiving is not a Turkish holiday

When is Thanksgiving celebrated?

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year.

What is the meaning of Thanksgiving? 

Thanksgiving is celebrated as a means of giving thanks for family, friends, food, health and other positives. Some families incorporate religion by giving thanks in prayer

What are the Traditions of Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving traditions vary among families and communities, but some common ones include, Sharing a Meal, Expressing Gratitude, Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Breaking the Wishbone, etc

Written By: Nitya Gupta


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