Once you’ve carefully prepped all your Thanksgiving sides and set the table, there's still one more thing to do while the turkey is roasting: Spin the proverbial turntable needle and get some music going.
Below, Spotify Trends Expert, Shanon Cook, shares her advice on how to ace your Turkey Day tunes that will please everyone from Papaw to preschoolers. To make life even easier, she created a sample Thanksgiving playlist for you to stream at your own festivities.
1. Set the mood for a special evening.
"Big family gatherings tend to be raucous, noisy—and hopefully joyful!—affairs, so I recommend not trying to compete with the crowd by playing frenetic or bombastic music,” advises Cook. “Stick to more laidback tracks that create a warm, cozy atmosphere and give a nod to the season.” A few of our favorite artists for the day include Frank Sinatra, George Strait, Louis Armstrong, Natalie Merchant, Sheryl Crow, Faith Hill, Harry Connick Jr., and, of course, Dolly Parton.
2. Stick to one playlist.
This doesn't mean it has to all be one genre. “When you’ve got a group spanning different generations and interests, the best thing to do musically is mix it up. Make the playlist as varied as your guest list,” says Cook. Not only will this introduce folks to songs and artists they may never have heard before, but it’s a lot less grunt work for you. “Cover a variety of genres and songs from different eras, from Bing Crosby’s ‘I’ve Got Plenty To Be Thankful For’ to Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Thankful.’” If you have young school-aged children, give them the special task of picking a handful of songs to add to the selections.
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3. Keep the older kids entertained.
Hey, it may even inspire them to get off their phone for a bit. “Teens and tweens will appreciate hearing current artists, so toss in a song or two they’ll recognize,” offers Cook. “I added Kesha’s ‘Praying,’ [to the playlist] which is currently on the charts, as well as indie favorite ‘Feel It Still’ by Portugal. The Man.” For younger kids, Cook recommends hits like “Ten Little Turkeys” and “I’m a Little Pumpkin” (a riff on “I’m a Little Teapot”) to get the crowd going (Warning: Adorable dancing will ensue).