Like many people at this given moment in time, my circumstances have caused my well-intentioned plans for Thanksgiving to go awry.

I am grateful to God that none of my problems have been major, just time consuming and stress producing. Hopefully these situations will increase my thankfulness and force me approach our family celebration in a more relaxed way.

Her are some tips for people who are hosting/cooking…

  1. Determine the people who are planning to have dinner with you.
  2. Decide on the menu. Get 80-90% of it determined. This year I will have to make fewer dishes, but more of each one. And I will be asking for more help.
  3. Make a list of the people who have confirm for dinner. Consider sending an email (or evite) to confirm the start time and assignments for folks who are bringing a dish/beverages. Ask if anyone has any dietary needs that need to be kept in mind.
  4. Make a list of what you will be making and create your grocery list. Decide when to shop – keeping in mind how much freezer/refrigerator space you have. I might do two medium sized trips instead of one mega shop, so I can start cooking some items over this weekend.
  5. Think about the best day/time to prepare the various menu items. Perhaps you can do some cooking after church on Sunday and freeze those things.
  6. Clean out your refrigerator, by eating the stuff you have on hand over the next few days. That will give you space for the feast items.
  7. On Monday or Tuesday of this week, spend some time cleaning and de-cluttering your home. If you need help, this might be something you can hire out or assign to family members. My oldest son asked to have a female friend over to visit two weekends ago – and he and his brother scrubbed down the whole house in advance. I was pleasantly surprised how good a job they did when properly motivated.
  8. If you want to try a new or difficult recipe, maybe you can make a “test” batch this weekend. That is one of the few things I did do for preparation last weekend. I tested my great-grandmother’s sweet dinner roll recipe and was thrilled that I could still do it a whole year later. I also remembered that these have a lengthy prep time, so I need to set aside enough time to make them.
  9. Think about the serving dishes that you will use for each menu item. Stage them close to the cooking action on Wednesday, so they are ready when needed. Consider setting all of the food up buffet style. That might make it easier to serve everyone upfront and for folks to have seconds.
  10. I usually enjoy the splurge of using cloth napkins for Thanksgiving, along with a “seat” card that has a Bible verse on it. I place the place near the napkin so that folks have a beneficial memento of our gathering. Here is a template to print cards for your table. Just print on 8 ½ x 11 paper, cut out the seat cards, fold and arrange on your table. Home-ista’s 2012 Thanksgiving Seat Cards

Grace & Peace

Home-ista Kelly

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