There are few celebrations on the calendar that compare to Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday that often creates long-lasting memories packed full of food, fun, and family. However, no matter how special the day is, it can be a demanding experience when you’re hosting loved ones. Use these tips to help you have a stress-free Thanksgiving celebration this year.
Prepare food ahead of time
A table full of food is the main attraction of Thanksgiving. While it does take a considerable amount of work to make the turkey, sides, and desserts, there are a few ways you can lighten the load. Instead of waiting until Thanksgiving to make all the food, use the days leading up to the feast to prepare some dishes. Some sides can be prepared ahead of time, which can be a significant time-saver on Thanksgiving. If you’re running low on time on the days before the celebration, spend a few minutes chopping up vegetables to save yourself prep time and free up counter space on Thanksgiving Day.
Make it a potluck
Another way to reduce your work preparing the meal is to ask your guests to bring food and drinks. By requesting guests bring along a side or dessert, you can make the food you prepare go further and save on some of the expenses of hosting the celebration. Most guests are happy to contribute. Just make sure not to double up on requests to avoid a table full of desserts with no sides.
Some of your guests may offer to help you in the kitchen once they arrive. Don’t turn them away! The extra hands can help make your day a lot easier. Even simple tasks, such as refilling appetizers plates or placing rolls in a basket, can be delegated to help free up your time to focus on more important tasks.
Set your table early
An elaborate table setting can enhance your Thanksgiving dinner. However, it can take a lot of time to set up plates, glasses, and silverware for all your guests. You can set the table early, even the night before, to help save time on the day of Thanksgiving. Setting your table early can also help you notice if you’re running low on certain utensils. You can also keep it simple this year with dishes you use every day or choose disposable dinnerware to reduce the amount of cleanup.
Prepare a drink station
Having friends and family wander into the kitchen searching for refreshments while you’re cooking dinner can be distracting. That’s why setting up a drink station in another room of the house can help you focus on the tasks at hand. Set up your drink station with everything your guests need, such as water, wine, beer, and soda in a cooler, and be sure to include a bucket with ice and plenty of cups.
Choose easy-to-make appetizers
Your guests may show up eager to chow down. Prepare a few simple appetizers, such as cheese and crackers, chips and dip, and roasted nuts, to satisfy your hungry guests. To keep distractions out of the kitchen, place the appetizers in another room once your guests begin to arrive.
Make your decorations
Instead of spending money on various store-bought decorations, show off your DIY skills and make some festive decor to welcome guests to your home. If you need help coming up with some ideas, try making some crafts in the days leading up to your party.
By reducing the stress of Thanksgiving, you may find yourself having a more meaningful holiday celebration with your loved ones.