A few tips for hosting a stress-free Thanksgiving
- Plan ahead. Are your guests bringing a dish to share? (Hint: the answer should be yes! Always enlist help on Thanksgiving, even if it’s asking someone to bring dinner rolls or a bottle of wine. Don’t be a hero!) If so, ask them to commit to a specific dish ahead of time so you don’t end up with 20 pounds of mashed potatoes and no green beans!
- Make your list and check it twice. Create your shopping list well in advance of Thanksgiving. Then, shop at least five days before the holiday to give yourself a cushion in case you forget anything. Also, don’t forget to buy extra napkins, toilet paper, and ice. These items often go overlooked and can run out quickly.
- Get a head start. Make what you can ahead of time. Wash and chop vegetables, then store them in the refrigerator until you need them. It’s much easier to reheat pans of stuffing and green bean casserole for a few minutes while your guests settle in than it is to battle over valuable oven space and temperatures on Thursday morning.
- A little organization goes a long way. Nothing is worse than running out of room for the dishes your guests put so much time and effort into bringing, so now may be a great time to invest in a card table if you don’t already have one. Sometimes it’s easiest to have a separate table just for desserts!
- Make room. Clean out your refrigerator in anticipation of leftovers. Throw away outdated products and move what you can to the freezer. This will also help for when you store groceries before the big day.
- Stock up on plastic. Consider picking up extra reusable containers the next time you’re at the store. Sending home leftovers with your guests is a great way to make sure you aren’t eating turkey sandwiches until Christmas.
- Buy! Don’t be afraid (or ashamed) to buy items for dinner instead of cooking them from scratch. Who has truly ever mastered lump-free gravy? If it’s not you, admit that the grocery store does a fine job of supplying smooth, just-as-tasty gravy, and save yourself the headache.
What are your go-to tricks for making Thanksgiving as seamless as possible? Leave us a comment below and let us know!