The Thanksgiving holiday is the kick off to the United States’ holiday season. The holiday focuses on spending time with family and friends and, of course, having a delicious meal. If you’re hosting the holiday gathering this year, here are a few tips to keep in mind and to hopefully make it an even more enjoyable holiday:
One of the first items on your list is the guest list. Decide who you’re inviting, what the grand total is and how many kids are included. Make sure you give your guests notice about when to arrive and what time they will eat. It’s also the time to take them up on any offers of bringing a dish or beverage for everyone to enjoy. Just make sure you add that to the second item on your prep list -- your menu plan.
Having a menu plan will help you prioritize what ingredients you have (and still need) and what dishes you can expect from guests. Once you have the menu plan, you can create your holiday grocery list and make sure you have what you need prior to the big day.
A final step in your planning should be your budget for food and serving supplies (yes, a budget will be helpful especially as the holiday shopping season approaches).
Getting Your Kitchen Ready
Thankfully, we have an entire list of things to do to prepare your kitchen for Thanksgiving, but here are the main items:
- Clean the oven and make sure it’s working properly. Or if you’re deep frying a turkey, make sure you follow safety tips.
- Clean out the fridge to make space for food prep and leftovers.
- Make sure the dishwasher is empty and ready to load after you eat.
Not only do you need to account for the number of tables and chairs you need, but you’ll need to make sure you know how you’re going to serve food. Will you set up a buffet or do a sit-down dinner? It’s important to plan ahead to make sure your guests are comfortable and you have space for your spread.
The Kid Table
Whether it’s actually a separate kid’s table, or just an area of your table that is designated for the younger generations, there are plenty of ideas on Pinterest to decorate surprise and hold the attention of kids attending your celebration. Also think of ways to include your youngest members in the festivities. Whether it’s helping to place items on the table or helping to collect coats, they will appreciate being able to help.
‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving…
While there will be things that can only be completed on Thanksgiving Day, there are a few suggestions from Better Homes and Gardens about what to do the night before Thanksgiving to give yourself a (turkey) leg up on the to-do list. Here are few of the top suggestions:
- Peel potatoes and keep in a cold pot of water in the refrigerator (you’ll have space since you recently cleaned it out).
- Have your family help set the table.
- Prepare stuffing.
- Plan where you will have coffee and desserts and set the area.
- Designate a place in your house for guest coats and bags.
- Plan your dinner music playlist (or assign that task to a family member).
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. In 2015, there were 1,760 home fires on Thanksgiving Day.
Some easy tips to remember include:
- Checking food regularly.
- Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
- Always check to make sure the stove, oven and small appliances are turned off before going to bed or leaving home.
Whether you follow these suggestions to a “t” or take a few and put them in your back pocket, we wish you and your family a very, safe and Happy Thanksgiving and stress-free start to the holiday season.