Hosting Thanksgiving can be stressful. For months you’ve been thinking about the perfect meal. Looking through cookbooks, magazines only to get more stressed out by seeing perfect birds, side dishes and desserts. It can be overwhelming and a bit intimidating. The pressure of making the perfect meal combined with the reality that you are hosting relatives can put anyone over the edge.
Thanksgiving doesn’t have to stress you out, it can actually be a ton of fun. If you look at Thanksgiving as a time to get everyone together and enjoy quality time spent with people you love, then all the planning and hard work will be worth it. I’ve hosted Thanksgiving 2 times. Once when my oldest son was 5 months old and I had my divorced in laws (that were not speaking), then again last year when my brother and his family came in from out of town. I would say the first time was a bit more stressful on many levels. I learned from those early days and made our 2013 Thanksgiving even better. When hosting you should want that day to be a memorable and rewarding experience for you and your guests. Here are a few things that has helped me survive hosting Thanksgiving.
PLAN AHEAD - A few weeks before the big day plan out your menu and make sure you order that fresh turkey.
MAKE AHEAD - Find recipes that you can make the day before or even a few days before. If you are making homemade rolls those can be done a few weeks ahead of time and then freeze to keep fresh. Pie crusts can be made even months ahead and keep frozen.
TABLE SETTING - If you are using your best China make sure you wash and have those ready a few days beforehand then set the table the day before. If you have pets or small children cover the table with another table cloth to keep everything clean.
BYOB - Most of the time you are having family and close friends joining you on Thanksgiving. No one is going to mind bringing a bottle of wine, in fact I am sure they will insist on bringing something…take them up on it!
ASK FOR HELP - If you are feeling totally stressed or know ahead of time that you will not be able to make everything, ask for help. Ask your aunt to bring her favorite pie or best friend to make that great appetizer that everyone loves. It saves you time and money.
THINK OF OTHERS - Another way to celebrate Thanksgiving is by giving back. There are many organizations locally that work hard to make sure families have a special meal for Thanksgiving. Not sure where to go? WFM has made it easy for you by offering a way for you to help others this holiday season. WFM North Wales has teamed up with the Mattie N. Dixon Community Cupboard. For just $10 you will help restock the cupboard during their busiest time of the year and before the harsh winter sets in.
If you are like me, you will want to do everything and make all foods from scratch, but sometimes it’s just not possible. One of my GO-TO grocery stores is Whole Foods, and not just during the holiday season. Whole Foods wants you to have the best possible foods available and takes the guess work out of planning, because they can do it for you!
You can reserve your turkey, order a complete holiday meal or any part of the meal – including entrees, sides, desserts, party platters and appetizers. Check out great selections online or head to the store and speak with a staff member that can help you through the process. My friends at WFM North Wales is making Thanksgiving fun by offering a great giveaway. When you order your Thanksgiving turkey through the WFM North Wales store you will be entered to win a free organic turkey from Koch Farms. Now that would save you some money!
It doesn’t matter how beautiful your table is but who is surrounding it that counts. Nothing compares to the sounds of laughter and stories shared throughout the day. I hope these tips help you make this year’s Thanksgiving less stressful and inspires you to give back to those in need throughout the holidays.
The WFM organic turkey giveaway and the O’Boy! Organic turkey giveaway is only for the North Wales location and must be picked up by Tuesday November 25th. Trust me I’d drive a bit to get a great organic turkey, plus you can do your other shopping too. I have a working relationship with Whole Foods Market North Wales, all opinions are my own.