Fall, Seasonal

How to host a stress-free Thanksgiving

how to host a stress-free thanksgiving

Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.

Turkey basters at the ready—Thanksgiving is upon us! Between the houseguests, the kids and the feast that needs preparing, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed this time of year. Keep stress to a minimum and maximize your fun with these no-brainer hosting tips and tricks. After all, the purpose is to enjoy and give thanks for this day, not dread it!

Assign: Spread around the cost and labor by asking everyone to bring something. Make sure you have all of your bases covered, whether it’s a bottle of wine, a side dish or a dessert. Aside from helping you out, this will also let everyone feel as though they had a part in preparing the holiday feast.

Enlist: For guests who either aren’t so adept in the kitchen or who are tight on cash, ask if their contribution can be to stay after dinner to help clean up. It’s no fun being stuck with a mountain of dishes when the meal is over!

Prep: Avoid last-minute stress by making a prep schedule. Write down every step, from when to shop to when to set the table, visualizing each one to help keep you calm in the moment.

Shop: There’s no shame in serving store-bought Thanksgiving food. Whether you’re buying pre-made piecrust or a pre-cooked turkey, prioritize your Thanksgiving Day enjoyment over the nonexistent Martha Stewart rivalry conjured in every hostess’ mind.

Set-up: Do as much as you can before guests arrive so you can interact with them once they’re there. It’s a good idea to set the dining table the night before Thanksgiving so you can not only cross that chore off your list, but also provide an inviting atmosphere for your guests. Make the occasion special by pulling out your holiday dishes and all of the accouterments, including chargers, napkin rings and placemats.

Snack: Buy yourself precious time by serving snacks first thing. A simple cheese board with fruits, nuts and crackers will keep the masses entertained while you’re putting on the finishing touches in the kitchen.

Craft: Keep the kids out of your hair (and your kitchen) by setting them up with an activity at a makeshift arts and crafts table. See my family’s favorite Thanksgiving crafts here.

Cook: Yes, there are expectations when it comes to traditional Thanksgiving foods, but who says you have to play by the rules? Detest green beans? Serve broccoli! Don’t like turkey? Go with roasted chicken! You’re the host, so you call the shots. You can also branch out this Thanksgiving by cooking the same, classic items in a different way. For instance, instead of making mashed potatoes, try roasted potatoes.

Lighten up: Another idea is to create some light, healthy sides to complement the hearty dishes. An arugula salad or a bowl of fresh berries will keep your guests feeling content after the meal is over rather than stuffed.

Reuse: Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste! Store your Thanksgiving leftovers and repurpose them in new and inventive ways.

Happy Thanksgiving!



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