Tips for Hosting a Stress Free Thanksgiving Dinner

November 3, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Party Planning

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year? It is just a few weeks away and can sneak up on you if you put the details of planning on the back burner. A little planning ahead can go a long way. Here are a few tips for creating a stress free Thanksgiving gathering, in no particular order.

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1. Plan out your meal about two weeks head of time.

Right about now would be a good time to sit down with a pen and paper and think about what dishes you are going to serve with your turkey or ham. Think about the number of people who will be in attendance. Make a thorough grocery list including all dish ingredients and also some basic staples (you never know!). If you begin your grocery shopping the first full week of November and by Thanksgiving week you should have everything you need in your fridge or freezer.

2. Clean house

Don’t leave all the mopping and scrubbing for Thanksgiving Eve. A week before Thanksgiving start with baseboards (your MIL might notice dirty ones ;-) ) and move on to larger cleaning projects. Work on one room at a time and that will help break up the cleaning spree. Remember, don’t tackle your whole house at once. You don’t want to exhaust yourself before turkey day!

3. Decorate

Get into the spirit of the season and deck your home with some nice pumpkins and fall decor. A few autumn items will make your home feel cozy and festive!

4. Plan your table setting and place cards.

About a week before gather up your linens, flatware, and serveware. If you can, set your table, plates and all, a few days in advance. You can cover your table with a sheet to keep dust from settling. If you can’t do this ahead of time it’s ok, but it will save you some time if you are able. For large groups, write place cards and thank about seating arrangements. Take into account kid tables and extra tables and chairs you may need.

5. No TV

We know this day will be full of football and parades, but during your meal be sure to keep all TVs off. Enjoy some music and eachother’s conversation. This is a day to be thankful for one another after all!

6. Buy your bird early.

By the first of November you should be going to the market to choose the perfect turkey. This is especially key if you don’t need a large turkey as the smaller sized birds tend to sell out first.

7. Cook ahead of time.

Any dish that can be easily warmed up should be prepared the night before and then stored in the fridge. Sounds silly, but many desserts and casseroles can be made a day early and then brought out and popped in the oven if needed before your meal is served. Trust us, this will cut down on your cooking time Thanksgiving Day.

8. Gather all cooking supplies.

Do you have enough baking pans? Check your cookware stock in advance and make sure you have enough baking dishes, a turkey baster, etc. Thinking ahead will save you from a last minute trip to the store (or knock on the neighbor’s door!).

Remember, whether this is your first or fourteenth year to host Thanksgiving dinner, try to relax, prepare what you can ahead of time, and enjoy the company of your family and friends…It only comes around once a year!

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