It’s no secret around here that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and we enjoy every minute of it. It’s special family time when our children, their spouses, and the grandchildren commit to being together. We don’t always have a traditional gathering. For instance, last year we met up for a long weekend in Williamsburg, VA, but we do always celebrate together. This year, everyone is coming to Lexington for Thanksgiving, and I’m so excited to have them all here in our new home. Having a house full of weekend guests can be stressful, but if you have a plan, then things go more smoothly. We have nine tips for hosting Thanksgiving that are no-fail, and we are sharing them with you today. We hope they help you out.
Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving
Don’t Over Commit
If your home can’t accommodate a large group of people, then only commit to hosting a number that you can handle. Everyone will have more fun if they are comfortable.
Have a Plan
If you will be hosting out of towners for several nights, then be aware of activities they can do during their down time. Pick up some brochures from your local tourist office that list parks, restaurants, hiking trails, movie theaters, museums, etc. that they can visit. Perhaps you can prepare some craft activities for the children to do. Also, if there are some shopping fans, know when the local stores open for Black Friday.
Prepare a Menu
Whenever I am entertaining, I prepare a menu. I write a detailed list of all the meals I am cooking and what I will serve at each meal. I write a grocery shopping list at the same time I prepare the menus. If it’s on paper, than it’s one less thing to worry about. Remember to include the meals for the whole weekend. I discovered one year that I had not planned for breakfast on Friday morning, but thank goodness I had all of the ingredients on hand to make these pancakes.
Most of us like to do some special cleaning when we are hosting a big gathering. Do those big deep cleaning jobs early.
Shop During the Off Hours
Try to do your grocery shopping during the off hours. Grocery stores aren’t as crowded early in the morning and later in the evenings after dinner. If you plan to use a shopping service, get on their schedule now for Thanksgiving week. Go to the big box stores during their off hours, too.
When we celebrate Thanksgiving here in Lexington, we all participate in a 10k race that morning. The race is a huge family event here that draws tons of runners, walkers, babies in strollers, and dogs on leashes. It’s also a fundraiser so we are helping out while having fun. If we are at Jordan’s, then we go to the annual Christmas parade. We also usually go to a movie together. Early in our marriage, I always made a Christmas craft with my mother, and it was a wonderful tradition that I will always cherish. If you don;t have any traditions, now is a good time to start some. You might like to do this.
Take an Inventory
Be sure to go through your linens, dishes, glasses, etc. early, and make sure they are all in tip top condition, I did this when we moved in. I washed and ironed every napkin, placemat, and tablecloth and discarded any stained items. I also polished the silver and washed all of the china and crystal. By doing it now, you will have plenty of time to purchase replacements
(similar thankful shirt available here)
When the time arrives, and you are in the trenches doing the cooking, cleaning, etc., accept any help that is offered. Don’t be a kitchen martyr and do it all yourself. We came up with this great idea that is a real help during the actual Thanksgiving meal.
We love helping people lighten their load, and we hope these nine tips for hosting Thanksgiving will help you.