Thanksgiving is a favorite American holiday where we all look forward to gathering with friends and family to eat, relax, and be grateful. But if you’re the one planning the Thanksgiving holiday, it can feel like an overwhelming combination of excitement and stress.
Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or hosting the whole family, planning ahead is important to ensure that you have a Thanksgiving that’s more fun and less headache. Here are some tips on how you can plan an epic Thanksgiving holiday that you and your family are sure to remember.
If you are a hostess for this year’s Thanksgiving feast, then you’d better start planning for your bird in advance. Once you have your guest list set, it’s time to reserve a bird. If you head to the grocery store for a turkey days before Thanksgiving, you will be super disappointed and discover that they are all sold out. Call up your local grocery store or local farms to find the perfect bird for your Thanksgiving day. Plan for a bird that is 2 pounds per adult and 1 pound per child to guarantee leftovers. Most places start accepting bookings up to a month in advance, so be sure to get your order in. This way, when you head to the store with your canvas grocery bag you can be certain your bird will be ready for you.
Planning your Thanksgiving menu in advance will definitely save you a hassle and stress later on. Be sure you’ve confirmed your guest list so you know how many people you’ll be cooking for and how many dishes to plan. Pick your favorite turkey recipe and plan the additional dishes around the bird. Start with classic dishes or your personal favorites and go from there. It’s also a good idea to select some dishes that can be served at room temperature, so you don’t have to worry about serving everything piping hot. Once you’ve planned the menu, it’s time to write the shopping list. If you need any additional kitchen gear or tools, like pans and meat thermometers, add them to the list! Slip into your warm down winter coat and head to the stores to get everything on your list. Also, be sure to include drinks on your menu and shopping list, so you don’t have to worry about buying them last minute.
Now it’s time to plan the cooking. This is probably the most daunting part, as making a feast in your kitchen requires some planning. Instead of stressing, write yourself a cooking schedule in the days ahead of Thanksgiving dinner, so you don’t have to cook it all at once. Certain dishes, like soups, make great appetizers and can be easily frozen ahead of time and defrosted just in time for dinner. Dessert items such as pies should also be made in the days ahead to keep the ovens free on Thanksgiving Day for the turkey and other dishes.
Now it’s time to set the space. In the days ahead of Thanksgiving, clean the house and set up the dining area. Put non-cooking household members in charge of cleaning and setting up the space as a way to save time and manpower. Setting up the house and dining area can take longer than you think, so it’s best to schedule time to do it. Start by moving extra clutter and storing it out of the away in storage baskets and closets. Then, move around the furniture so you can fit the dining area and still offer your guests space to comfortably move around.
Another important part of setting up the space is bringing in the festive décor. Even if you don’t have Thanksgiving-specific décor, setting up the right vibe can be really effective at creating an ethos or vibe that your guests will love. Bring in natural, fall-inspired elements, swop neutral palettes for fall palettes, or bring in fall-themed flower arrangements. Even something as simple as laying out orange or rust-colored throw pillows and throw blankets can do a lot to change the mood of a room and make it more festive. Light some candles and play cheerful music to really set the festive mood.
Last but certainly not least, plan your epic Thanksgiving holiday outfit. There’s going to be a time in the day when you’ll have to put the apron aside and get dressed into something that makes you shine. We love tartan and plaid prints that are perfect for any winter festivities. As a hostess, be sure to choose an outfit that you look fabulous wearing, but that also gives you the freedom to move about and host your epic holiday. Many women’s dresses offer a flattering fit that lends room for mobility and, let’s be honest, that second helping of turkey!
Make your Thanksgiving holiday especially epic by planning activities and games that everyone is sure to love. For many families, it’s tradition to get a football game going, but you can also spend the time playing board games, charades, or even having a bonfire in the backyard. Adding activities to your Thanksgiving holiday isn’t just fun for the kids, but it will make your celebration all the more memorable.
Planning the Thanksgiving holiday should be fun, even if it’s a little stressful. Use these tips to plan an epic holiday feast and have a wonderful celebration with your family and friends.