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Be Thankful for a Fab Thanksgiving!

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Jes Gordon, the author of Party Like a Rock Star, has put her party-planning skills to work for such clients as Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Nicolas Cage! Now, she is providing inventive yet budget-friendly ideas to make your holidays stress-free.

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, there's little time to plan a festive feast. Still, if you are hosting friends and family this Thursday, try something new to make your soiree one to remember.

Go Global
Of course, Thanksgiving is an American tradition, but that doesn't mean you can't give the holiday some cultural flair. Go for a Morrocan style with floor cushion seating instead of formal dining room chairs. Set out an array of candles — they don't have to match — and a bold table cloth. Or, try a Japanese theme where the good stuff gets ingested by chop sticks only! (Try eating turkey with these.)

If You Can't Beat 'Em…
… Join 'em! Instead of discouraging the sports fans from watching NFL the afternoon of Thanksgiving, let them enjoy the tradition. Make a mini-tailgating party for the guys indoors! Bring in their team colors and chairs along wtih their favorite brewsky's and nostalgic snacking goodies. Get in on the fun with this wide selection of college and pro team merchandise!

Get Stuffed
Create the ultimate stuffing bar! We all dig stuffing, so make a bar consisting of different flavors of stuffing mixes –cranberry stuffing, oyster stuffing, sourdough stuffing and more — and serve the mushy stuff up in actual martini or holiday-themed glasses!

Family Fun
Have the kids dress up as their favorite characters that appear in the Thanksgiving Day Parade — from a turkey to Garfield to SpongeBob — and give out prizes to all!

T-Day Tapas
Create more of a tapas-style Thanksgiving day menu with wine and beer pairings. Instead of heaping mounds of food, offer smaller amounts of tastings, such as croquettes. For inspiration, page through Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America and use one of these buffet warmers to keep your tapas warm.

A Piece of the Pie
If your guests are offering to bring part of the meal, perhaps ask them to come with a pie. After dinner, everyone can taste-test all the desserts in a pie contest! The winner gets leftovers! If you aren't up for baking, get one delivered instead!

For more holiday tips, visit our "Holidays with Us" hub!

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