Hosting any occasion can be stressful- especially in my family where Thanksgiving is just as big as Christmas! My Mom and I have hosted Thanksgiving Dinner for as long as I can remember. The day starts with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the smell of butter… what could be better than that?! From decorating to cooking- we do it all! With the exception of deep frying turkey #2, we leave that up to the men. YES, We have TWO turkeys every year!! I wasn’t kidding when I said we have a Christmas-sized Thanksgiving. In this post, I will walk you through hosting a stress-free Thanksgiving Dinner using tips we’ve learned over the years.
DO AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE A HEAD OF TIME.
I can’t stress this enough! This step is a crucial for entertaining in general. Planning ahead allows you to savor the moment and reduce stress. My mom makes as many dishes as she can the day before Thanksgiving. Pies and deserts are a great example for things that can be made prior. I also start setting the tables, shinning the silver and cleaning.
PLAN THE MENU IN ADVANCE.
At my house we typically have the same dishes every year but If you are straying away from tradition or just want to spruce up your grandma’s gravy recipe- it is a good idea to plan ahead and familiarize yourself with the ingredients. This will also help you form a grocery list and keep an eye out for hot items at the market leading up to Thanksgiving.
This can be the most dreaded step because of the holiday crowds. Hence why Step #2 is SO important. Try to pick up non-perishables and alcohol in advance to lessen the load of your trip. We usually get fresh turkeys from a local farm to ensure we have the main ingredient as well as the correct size turkeys. I am gluten intolerant so gluten free items can be hard to locate during the holiday season. Resort to online resources if you or someone in your family has allergy restrictions.
Traditions and family are the most important part of holidays. One of my favorite traditions is to say or write what everyone is thankful for. This helps kids learn the meaning of Thanksgiving as well as remind the adults. Arts and crafts is an easy and fun way to entertain the kids. Keep an eye out at Michaels and Target they usually have Thanksgiving themed crafts. One tradition my family never misses is burning the dinner rolls! They are the last thing to go in the oven and first thing to go in the trash. All in all, make sure you are having fun!
My favorite part of holidays are of course the decorations! I would recommend decorating for Thanksgiving right after Halloween that way all you have to do leading up the Thanksgiving Day is set the tables. I made DIY pumpkins that work for Halloween and Thanksgiving to make decorating easier. I just add the blue pumpkins in for Thanksgiving which coordinates with the color scheme our home. At my parents house, I am responsible for the table setting. As stated in Step #1, this is something I usually do the day before. This leaves me time if I need to gather more material for my design such as florals or candles.
I hope you have enjoyed a look into Thanksgiving Dinner with me and my family. Have a wonderful and stress-free Thanksgiving! I am excited to see what tips helped you the most.