Thanksgiving is around the corner. Many people take this time to be with their families. They have a good meal and either watch football, play board games or start decorating for Christmas.
When our son was younger and we had more family gatherings there was always a hustle and bustle to prepare all the food and get the house ready.
Because our grandparents usually hosted the holidays, I’ve only hosted Thanksgiving a few times. I recall getting up really early to defrost and get the turkey ready. There was almost always a chill in the air outside while the house was warm from the oven and smelled of the holiday.
Although it’s well worth gathering for any holiday or other occasion, there was a lot of stress around it too. By the end of the day I was exhausted.
Here are some ideas for streamlining your holiday this year so that you can have some time for yourself to relax and enjoy being with family and friends.
Plan your entire meal and grocery list weeks in advance. Grocery shop the week of.
Allow people to help you throughout the whole process. Holidays are about family and fun. Everyone should participate. Kids can clean their rooms and set tables while adults can spruce things up outside and in and help prepare dishes. The whole family can make decorations like classic paper garland or these super sweet white pumpkins.
Be prepared to tell guests who want to bring a dish what category to bring such as a side, salad or dessert.
Purchase some dishes rather than preparing everything homemade. If pies are your thing then make the pies and order sides from a good deli or restaurant. If you plan to make the bulk of the meal then purchase some nice desserts.
Preparation is key for any party to run smoothly. Be sure to have everything you need so you’re not running around at the last minute. Don’t forget miscellaneous things like napkins, plenty of drinks, bread or rolls, candles, extra napkins and toilet paper, and something to do for the little ones such as coloring or games.
Do the house cleaning in advance. Enlist the help of family members for this also and let their participation be good enough. Don’t go behind them and redo anything. If you clean in advance, you’ll be able to take your time and not rush on the day of or day before. If you’re like me you’ll notice lots of little details you want to clean when you’re expecting company like cleaning out the fridge or cleaning the carpets. You’ll have time for these things if you do it in advance. Don’t let your house’s appearance get to you too much though. It isn’t the place that makes a home, it’s the people in it.
Decide if you want buffet or family style. One side of our family always did buffet while the other always did family style. I really love family style where dishes are passed around the table. There’s just something about it that is so homey and family-oriented.
Use a checklist to keep yourself on track. You can find a bunch of those on Pinterest so I won’t bother to create one. Here is a really smart one from Campbell’s.com.
Our family has drifted away from traditional Thanksgiving dinner several years ago. We don’t have a lot of extended family here in Colorado but do have each other. I think those holiday memories of big family gatherings and the traditional meal are really nice though. I’m glad we did those traditional holidays. This year we are celebrating it at our son’s house. We haven’t decided on the dish yet but both my son and I will do the cooking (or ordering, hah! Not sure yet)
What we will always have is family, food and fun.
What are your plans for Thanksgiving?
Do you celebrate a traditional feast?
What activities do you do on that day?
Here’s another little post on my ideas for a sweet and simple kind of holiday.
Thank you for reading.
May you be happy and well.