I am so excited about Thanksgiving this year because my in-laws are finally spending a holiday with us. Ok- I will be honest, at first I was a little stir-crazy, and if you ask my husband I still am. Nonetheless hosting anyone for the holidays can be a big to- do, especially when you add a vegetarian who is gluten-free to a couple of true meat and wheat eating southerners.
Any-who, here are some tips that will have you hostess-ready in no time!
1. Make a schedule (FOR EVERYTHING)- Seriously, breaking down the cooking, shopping and cleaning by separate days and time give you time to get everything done and allow you to catch your breath at the same time. A schedule also allows for a margin of error. I would also advise to do your best scheduling activities. As a host(ess), your guest will look to you for guidance so I have a few ice breakers or games on hand, just in case the air gets stale or WWIII erupts over football. If you’re guest are coming to you for a few days, have some activities lined up that everyone can enjoy over their visit like going to the movies, hitting Black Friday sales or going to community festival(s). I suggest having all the food prepared and in oven-safe storage at least the day before Thanksgiving. This enables you to actually enjoy the holiday, decrease stress and only leaving warming and plating for the day of.
2. Make your list and check it…more than twice- After you and have made the final decisions on your menu, make a grocery list by first going through each recipe for each item. Then make another list combing totals (4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, 2 packages of gluten-free flour mix, etc). Finally seperate your list by department (a link can be found here) so you aren’t making multiple laps around the grocery store. Make sure you triple- check it. You don’t want to forget anything. (If you do, know ahead if time what grocery stores are open and what time they close. Above I suggested to cook everything but the rolls by at least the Wednesday before but if you can’t, start early on Thanksgiving day!)
3. Make it Festive- This can be achieved in a myriad of ways. I racked up at my local Coton Colors tent sale, getting some super-nice Thanksgiving decor for 75% off. If you don’t have a Coton Colors near you and out of time to order online, don’t forget about Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and craft stores for holiday themed or everyday serving trays and dinnerware. I also got some awesome printables and DIY decor ideas from Pintrest. Don’t forget to compile a list of craft items for diy projects so you have all of your supplies.