"Before Anything Else, Preparation is the Key to Success.” Alexander Graham Bell
Thanksgiving is a meal that strikes fear in the heart of even the most organized person. These ideas below should help you plan not only for Thanksgiving, but for any holiday meal you may be hosting.
Create a game plan
Pull out paper and a pen and start making those lists: Grocery shopping, house projects, house guest planning tasks. Get them nailed down today so you’ll know what you have to accomplish.
Eliminate dishes you don’t have to make
Eliminating dishes is the first step for this meal plan. Who is going to bring what? Feel free to take people up on their offers to help - it is mutually beneficial!
Decide on a Thanksgiving Day timeline
You will feel less stressed if you know that you've accounted for the essential elements of the day. Make sure to include, at a minimum, breakfast (for those doing the preparation and any out-of-town guests), appetizers, sit-down dinner, dessert.
Stick to the Basics
You know full well the dishes that people expect to see: Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pie. Make sure you cover those basics, and then, if you have time and feel like being creative, concentrate on spicing up the sides. (Ask someone to help you by grilling some vegetables. It won’t take up kitchen space, and they taste great!)
Label Your Serving Dishes
Match up each recipe to a serving dish and label it. This way, when someone asks how they can help, the labels make it easier to delegate some tasks.
Plan for Leftovers
My husband’s favorite part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. Isn’t it true? Rather than hand out your precious Tupperware, invest in some grocery-store food storage containers - or foil containers - that don’t cost too much. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting your pricey (And matching) Tupperware back. And make a plan for a recipe with leftover turkey on Friday - we always enjoy our friend’s Matzah Ball soup with turkey.
The day after Thanksgiving just may be my most favorite eating day of the year.
Wishing you and your family a stress-free and grateful Thanksgiving.