Planning for Thanksgiving involves more than a trip to the grocery store. Many stressful holidays occur because only the food is planned. By taking the time early to handle the other aspects of the holiday, you can have more time for your last-minute food preparations.
Thanksgiving is often the one holiday when people bring out all their best china and silver. It’s also a day when you may have many dinner guests. The best way to plan for this is to set the table early. If you have silver that needs polishing or you can’t find Aunt Lavine’s cranberry compote dish, Thanksgiving morning is not the day to discover these problems. Spend part of the weekend before pulling out everything and setting the table. (You can eat in front of the TV for a few days.)
Prepare for any potential problems or accidents. Your dining room floor and table linens are at risk with a Thanksgiving dinner. Pre-plan for spills with a good collection of white towels and your favorite spot remover if needed. Quick attention fo spilling protects your rugs and tablecloths without unduly embarassing your guests.
You may want to serve food buffet-style, reducing the demands for passing everything and allowing more space at the table. Plan which serving pieces will be used, and lay out your buffet ahead of time. Then just add the food on Thanksgiving day. This will leave room for decorative elements on the table itself.
Finally, plan ahead for the meal itself. Check your recipes when you make your shopping list and prepare anything you can ahead-of-time. Are there any bakeries or stores that make great pies? Consider buying them and saving yourself some time and trouble. Make a plan for Thanksgiving morning that factors in any oven or stove-top space limitations. Give yourself a spare half-hour to hour in your calculations to cover the unexpected.
With these plans you have a good chance of experiencing a fun and lower-stress holiday. Maybe you’ll even be able to watch a little football!
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