It’s hard not to love a holiday centered around food and being thankful. Whether you’re having just a few of your closest friends or family over or what some might consider a block party, here are a few tips to keep you sane and safe as you enjoy the festivities!
Keep your head count in mind
If you’re only having a few people over, it’s definitely easier to keep track of who’s coming. But if you’ve got an extensive family or friend network, the guest list constantly changes. Some people don’t think they can make it, but then show up at the last minute. It is best to always err on the side of too much food. Who doesn’t like a nice plate of Thanksgiving leftovers?
Determine your menu
Maybe you’ve been hosting Thanksgiving dinner for years and you’ve got it down to a science. But if you’re just starting out or relatively inexperienced in hosting big shindigs, then you’ll find it’s really easy to go overboard and try to make every amazing dish you’ve seen. Some things to consider when planning your menu:
- Remember to keep recipe prep time in mind. Most sites list a prep time, but they often don’t actually include the measuring, cutting, and general preparation of the items. So a 15 minute prep time may actually be more like 45 minutes if you’ve got a ton of vegetables to cut!
- Try to include dishes that you can prep a few days ahead of time. If you plan it right, the only thing you’ll need to do on Thanksgiving day besides heating up the dishes is cook the turkey and gravy.
- Don’t be afraid to ask some people to bring something. Wine, rolls, salad, and appetizers are usually easy for people to bring. Not only will it give you some cooking relief, but those people will instantly feel included in the celebration.
- Consider ordering pre-cooked meals or part of the meal. By outsourcing some of the heavy lifting, it will allow you to make a few outstanding dishes without being overwhelmed.
- If you buy a frozen turkey, make sure you take it out of the freezer four days before Thanksgiving so it will defrost in time.
Preparing your Home
- Do a thorough cleaning a week or two before Thanksgiving so you can focus on preparing as the holiday approaches.
- If you have any projects you’d like to complete, such as cleaning out the hall closet, cleaning out your medicine cabinet, etc, do those two weeks before your dinner.
- Childproof your home if young ones will be there. Even some of the most well-behaved kids may not know what is on or off limits when they are in a new environment.
- If you’re going to set up a separate table for the children, consider putting some fun activities out at the kids’ table to make it easier for them to stay occupied.
- Create a kid free zone in the kitchen and make sure they know what the boundaries are.
- Make sure outside lights are working properly.
- Check/change your batteries in your smoke detector as recommended in our November Home Checklist.
- Make sure your fire extinguisher is in working order a week before.
- Make sure your first aid kit is stocked.
- If you’re going to deep fry your turkey, make sure you do it outside, at least five feet away from any structure, and on an even surface.
Enjoy this holiday with your family and friends!