True, we are living at an unprecedented time: there is the continuous threat of the global health crisis, and other events that may make us feel uncertain about the future. Yet, we also have a lot of things that merit our gratitude.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, make the kitchen part of the festivities. No longer seen as a place for food preparation, the kitchen has enjoyed a newfound celebrated status as an entertaining hub. More and more people are beginning to understand the value of having high-quality cabinets in the kitchen, and a number of design options are also made available to cater to varying tastes. From different laminates, to designer handles, and other architecturally inspired implements, the kitchen has become a hard-working, high-traffic design pod.

So, it should come as no surprise why your kitchen must be top-of-mind for your Thanksgiving Dinner. While your new working space is undeniably a treat for the senses and may provide for a great conversation starter, it doesn’t hurt to add a few elements to ensure everyone gets to have a great time. Between prepping the turkey and baking the pie, here are some ideas you can do in your kitchen:

1. Serve sampler platters to your guests while you cook.

Plan different party platters for your guests to munch on while you prep up in the kitchen. Allocate a portion of your kitchen countertop for guests to hang out in. Bring out all your high bar stools and your napkins. If you prepare dishes in advance, you can free up more table space and you will have more time to entertain family and friends. Pre-plan how you will assemble them on the table so it looks well thought-out and uncluttered.

2. Set up a stylish drinks area.

Thoughtful meal and drink pairing enhances the dining experience. Scout the Internet for easy-to-prepare cocktails that are perfect for Thanksgiving. However, if your guests are already accustomed to their libation, it is best to set-up a stylish drinks area in one corner of your kitchen. A breakfast cart is a wonderful way to do this so you can move it around as the night progresses. The idea is to allow your guests to help themselves. Do not forget to include a container filled with ice, an array of botanicals, utensils, glasses of different sizes, and napkins.

3. Enhance the mood with music.

Food and conversations become better when music is involved. A silent kitchen isn’t one worth cooking in, and definitely a drab to party in. Classical music tend to slow things down, while upbeat tunes render more energy. However, it is best that you come up with a playlist that everyone is familiar with so it really becomes more enjoyable.

4. Decorate if you can.

Decors can up the ante of your party, but it doesn’t mean necessarily. Understand the traffic in your space given the number of guests that you invited, and from there, you get to have a feel if you can include decors. If you have a compact kitchen and you still want to make your dinner “instagrammable,” you may opt for colors using placemats, runners, and other table essentials.

5. Soften the light.

Everything looks better bathed in a warm glow. Dim your ambient lights and turn up your accent lighting to set the mood. You can also make use of candles to make it more luxurious and romantic.