If you end up spending more time running around the house and stressing out on Thanksgiving, here are some tips to help you prepare in advance. Make this the year you de-stress and have a Thanksgiving that you and your guests enjoy.
- Invite guests now, and set an RSVP date that allows you time to invite a few more guests if you’d like or accommodate “drop ins”. Knowing in advance will help you budget for food, time, chairs… and your nerves.
- Whether you want a plated formal dinner, casual buffet or potluck, choosing a menu now will leave you feeling relaxed on Thanksgiving Day. Start by going through family traditional recipes in your cookbooks, or visiting your favorite food blog, or website for ideas.
- White table linens and the special silver or a burlap runner and paper plates – whatever your theme, plan your table linen, dinnerware, seats, and serving ware now. If you need to shine silver flatware or purchase more paper plates, do it now and not on Thanksgiving morning!
- Use these days leading up to Thanksgiving to your advantage. Many vegetable side dishes and casseroles can be made in advance and kept in the freezer until ready to thaw for Thanksgiving dinner.
- Once you know how many guests you are having, ensure there is plenty of space, tables and chairs for all. If you live in a smaller home, consider renting or borrowing chairs or tables just for the night. Covering rented chairs with formal slipcovers makes for a beautiful addition to your holiday table and decor.
- After you have planned the meal, prep your kitchen with plenty of serving utensils, and plan where the food will be served. For those that have a large kitchen, this step maybe straightforward, while those with smaller kitchens should make food stations around the kitchen for ease of serving and guests finding what they need easily and without asking you where items are.
- Plan for alternate entertainment for guests to enjoy. If inviting children have a tv, playroom, or coloring book activities out of the mainstream area of adults gathering. For adults, consider having music and other entertainment on hand for everyone to enjoy while mingling.
- Most importantly, the holidays only come around once a year, and Thanksgiving is a time to cherish those around you, and give thanks for having loved ones near.