Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! Do you cook a large Thanksgiving dinner? I know I do one with all the fixings from sweet potatoes to turkey and stuffing. For me the meal is more of an experience and a gathering so I want to make it perfect! For those of you who are wondering I have two Thanksgivings in my home – Canadian (Oct) and US (Nov) so I don't just get to prep for one big Thanksgiving dinner but two.
I like to remember this is the time of year when we get to cook great food, enjoy family and reflect on what we are thankful for. However, Thanksgiving can also become very stressful, especially if you are hosting a large dinner party. I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the company and maybe a little wine with the preparation ;). There are a few things I like to do in order to prepare for Thanksgiving or any big meal for that matter. I thought I would share some of my tips with you!
Thanksgiving Prep Checklist
Make a Checklist: Weeks if not a month in advance write out a very detailed checklist. This checklist should cover your dinner menu, cleaning list, any decorations you need to purchase and anything else you need to do in preparation for Thanksgiving. As you purchase supplies or complete tasks, make sure to check them off of your list. Having a checklist will keep you on task.
Shop in Advance: Grocery items for Thanksgiving dinner tend to get more expensive the closer it gets to the big day. Take advantage of sales by shopping early. Having that master checklist will keep you on track of what you have bought and what you still need to purchase. Shopping in advance also reduces the stress of last-minute shopping.
Cook in Advance: One of the biggest Thanksgiving tasks is cooking. If you are having a lot of family over then you know how stressful it is to cook a large meal. Do all of your prep work and any cooking that you can in advance. Try to minimize the amount of time you spend in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day. You should be able to enjoy this day as much as anyone else. A few things that are super simple to do ahead of time are potatoes, stuffing, salad prep, and some sides!
Let People Bring Dishes: Guests will often ask if they can bring a dish to Thanksgiving dinner. Anytime someone offers to help you out by bringing food, say yes! Let them know a few different items you would enjoy having. You can suggest a bottle of wine, pie, a salad, appetizer or anything else. For a meal like Thanksgiving it is ok to be picky and very specific when people ask what they can bring.
Bring on the Holiday Season!
Does your family have any Thanksgiving traditions?