Thanksgiving Triad — Leanne and David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, Ore.What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Does the question make you cringe? Are you concerned your house won’t get cleaned and that you will spend your life in the kitchen? Banish those thoughts, and follow my advice for successful holiday entertaining.

  • Invite lots of people, the more the merrier. With a house full of friends, no one will even notice if you cleaned or not. In today’s world, it’s easy to let people know you’re ready to party. You can call, text, e-mail, snail mail or send a fun digital invitation.
  • Fill your home with flowers. When there are flowers in the house, everything seems new, fresh and festive. This year, I am especially fond of della Robbia, a style characterized by fruit displayed in floral designs. Remember to place a little vase of flowers in the bathroom. This sweet touch will be a delightful surprise!

Della Robbia — Leanne and David Kesler, Floral Design Institute, Inc., in Portland, Ore.

  • Right before your guests arrive, pop a slice of cinnamon bread in the toaster. The house will fill with warm and inviting fragrance.
  • Set out cookies and cider, light candles and put on your favorite music collection.
  • Don’t prepare the meal ahead of time. Who has time anyway? Holiday cooking is easy and fun when everyone is involved. Ask each guest to bring their favorite dish, and give everyone, especially the children, a job to do once they arrive.

With these five tips, I can promise you the kitchen will be chaos and the results will not be picture perfect. But, the laughter and memories will be endless. And, remember … mashed potatoes and whipped cream will easily wash off the walls.

What are your tips to Thanksgiving success?