Hosting Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the day. All it takes is some planning ahead and organization to pull off a great holiday filled with warmth and family memories. Use the following tips so you can serve a delicious meal and still get to spend precious time with your loved ones.
Getting organized on paper is the first step to a successful Thanksgiving. Plan your menu and 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. When planning the menu, be sure to check with guests on any food allergies or dietary restrictions. Once you get your plans on paper, it will be a lot easier to keep track of everything and avoid missing anything.
Prepare in Advance
There are plenty of things you can do in advance to reduce your to-do list on Thanksgiving Day.
Get to the store days before the crowds and buy the non-perishable food items you are going to need and stock up on paper goods now. This way you avoid fighting the crowds at the grocery stores and also avoid running around to multiple stores for out-of-stock items.
Buying the frozen turkey in advance gives you a better selection, while also allowing you the days needed for it to thaw.
Make the big day less stressful by preparing and cooking ahead. Many appetizers, side dishes and desserts are easy to prepare a day or two before.
Get any folding chairs or tables you might need to make sure everyone has a place to sit. Setting the table the night before is also a wise idea.
The stove, oven and fridge always seem to be over-capacity on the big day, so plan ahead and breakout the slow cookers and ice chests so they are at the ready.
Plan and setup the drink station ahead of time. This gives you time to plan out the variety of beverages and may even give you time work the setup into your Thanksgiving decor.
Stick to a general fall theme so you can set up the decorations early. 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. Carry the color scheme throughout your home so it has a nice warm and welcoming ambiance. Decorating and setting your table the day before can be a big time saver.
Share the Workload
You don’t have to do it all! Have guests bring a dish – appetizer, side dish, wine or dessert. People generally ask what they can bring and offer to help on the day. Accept these offers and you will have more time for other tasks that need to be done.
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 movies are always good at keeping the kids occupied.
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