Hosting Thanksgiving can be stressful, but don’t let that get you down. It’s important to savor in the warmth and togetherness of the holiday, because that's what it is really all about. All you need is some careful planning and a bit of organization and things will flow smoothly. You will be able to serve a delicious meal and still get to make memories with your loved ones. Write It Down Getting organized on paper is the first step to stress-free entertaining. Make lists for what food items you need from the store, what you need to get done around the house, and what you need to ask people to bring. Once you get all of your thoughts on paper, it will be a lot easier to keep track of it all. Making the lists ahead of time also gives you a chance to make sure you don't forget anything. Work Ahead of Time There are plenty of things you can do in advance to shorten your tasks on Thanksgiving Day. For example, you can buy all of the non-perishable food items you are going to need and stock up on paper goods now. That way, when it comes time to fight the crowds at the grocery stores, you have a minimal list remaining so you can get on your way faster. Now is also the time to buy any folding chairs or tables you might need to make sure everyone has a place to sit. Share the Workload You don’t have to do it alone! Guests almost always offer to bring something. Take them up on it! It frees up some of your time and energy. Significant others and older kids can pitch in with the meal prep, shopping, setting the table and cleaning up before and after. Some of the best memories are made when working alongside others.
Keep the Decor Simple Just because it's Thanksgiving doesn't mean you have to have decorative turkeys all over your home. Instead, stick to a general fall theme and you can set up the decorations now without anyone even thinking twice about it. Swap out your throw pillows for ones in warm colors, like deep reds and burnt oranges. Bring in some outside elements to complete the look, like acorns, fall leaves, and some pumpkins. Concentrate on carrying the color scheme throughout all of the rooms that your guests may be visiting so that your home evokes feelings of warmth throughout.
Occupy the Kids
When you are trying to prepare a Thanksgiving meal, the last thing you want is the added stress of little ones running around rampant or getting underfoot. Pick up a few activities to entertain the kids so you can focus on the task at hand. Coloring books, puzzles or games are always good at keeping the kids occupied. If all else fails, put on a new or favorite movie!