If you’ve agreed to host Thanksgiving dinner this year and this realization has started to dawn on you, don’t panic just yet. While this holiday can certainly be a stressful one for a lot of people, most of the bad rap can be attributed to a lack of preparation. If you follow the below tips, you might even enjoy the holiday.
Plan, Plan, Plan
The key to a successful Thanksgiving dinner and, most importantly, your sanity is all in the planning. At least one week before the big day, create a plan and a list of things to accomplish each day of the week leading up to Thursday. From recipe selection and grocery shopping to creating a timeline of when each dish needs to go in the oven, good planning will save you many times over. When creating your timeline, note the amount of bake time needed, especially when it comes to the turkey, as multiple dishes may be competing for oven time. A turkey typically roasts for 20 minutes per pound as a general rule. If you find while making a timeline that there simply ISN’T enough time, switch out an oven baked side for one that can be made in a crockpot, on the stove, or the day before.
Days before the big day, smart women are already getting a head start on their Thanksgiving prep work. Pie crusts can be made in batches beforehand and frozen. Vegetables can be peeled and chopped. Use post it notes to label each dish you will use for every entrée, side, and sauce, so there will be no guesswork or frantic dish washing on T-Day. A helpful idea is to print out each recipe you’ll be using and put everything together in a binder in the order you’ll use the recipes to maximize efficiency and save time later.
Take Care of Yourself
With so much focus on planning and preparation, it can be easy to forget to plan for yourself. This startling realization may come to you when you wake up on Thursday and realize you have no clean clothes to wear. Plan what you’ll wear ahead of time. If it’s simpler, wear comfy sweats or jeans and a t-shirt you won’t mind staining during the cooking time and have a more stylish outfit picked out that you can easily change in to later to feel more put together and ready to party. If you don’t want to deal with your hair during prep time, put it up in a ponytail while you cook and then let it down and add clip in hair extensions
to add instant feminine style. Make sure you add time to get yourself ready to your master schedule, as hectically rushing around and feeling like a mess won’t help you enjoy the day. Remember, it’s your Thanksgiving holiday too. Dressing up and feeling put together will help you feel more like a guest when you sit down to eat, instead of a hurried waitress.