Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and really kicks off the holiday season. During the week leading up to Thanksgiving Day is when I start to anticipate the upcoming short work week, lots of family and friend time, and preparing myself for all of the delicious food I’ll be eating. I also look forward to the Turkey Bowl Football games. It’s always great to watch the local rival grade schools play each other, while reminiscing on what I call the “glory days” of grade school with friends.
In addition I also look forward to preparing the big Thanksgiving feast with my family. Each year I help my mother prepare. We usually start our Thanksgiving prep the weekend before which gives us plenty of time to food shop and plan.
Here are a few things we do to prepare for a smooth Thanksgiving prep and dinner – maybe these tips can help you if you haven’t started yet and also give you some ideas. You’ll see that most of these tips are helpful for your last minute prep:
1. Do your holiday grocery shopping strategically. Shop early to get the best deals on food, just as you would on Black Friday! Food stores usually start advertising special holiday sales early on in the month. Some large food stores are also known for giving away free turkeys too! That’s only if you gain enough points on your loyalty card.
2. Create a Thanksgiving dinner schedule and plan each course. I have found that when you have a plan set in writing, you’re less likely to make changes to it. Do this before you start any baking and cooking to prevent you from changing your mind once you have already started. We like to try new recipes each year, so we always search for them Google, but this year I’ve been on a huge Pinterest kick.
Sidenote: It is smart to ask guests if they have any food allergies, are a vegetarian, etc. that way you can prepare each course accordingly and leave no one out.
3. Create a festive Thanksgiving table centerpiece. Take a break from worrying about the baking and cooking. We usually set aside a few hours for an arts and crafts session to create a DIY Thanksgiving centerpiece. This year I used this idea from Pinterest: DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece.
4. Ask guests to help you out by bringing a side dish or dessert. Don’t stress yourself out by cooking the ENTIRE Thanksgiving meal. Either way, some guests usually bring something small. Make it a point this year to ask guests to bring a certain side dish, dessert, or other item with them. Be sure to keep an organized list of who is bringing what so you don’t have triple of something.
5. Plan something for the kids. If you have a lot of younger children attending Thanksgiving dinner, set up and arts and crafts section with a fun Thanksgiving activity for them to do. I suggest hopping onto Pinterest to get craft ideas for the kids – here are some good ideas that I have found: 21 Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids
The five tips and ideas I shared with you today are the ones I find to be the most important for my Thanksgiving prep and dinner. What are yours?
Photo Credit: Southern Living