Simple, Time-Saving Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving

Let’s face it, the holidays can be taxing, but enjoying an efficient, well-planned Thanksgiving is a great way to beat the stress and start the holiday season off on the right foot. Whether you’re planning a quiet Thanksgiving with your immediate family or hosting a party for the entire neighborhood, the following are some tried-and-true ways you can avoid the stress that typically comes with the holidays and enjoy a relaxing, organized turkey day:

1.     Plan your Thanksgiving menu in advance. Type up the recipes you plan to use and create a comprehensive grocery list that covers all the bases, so you don’t forget anything at the store. Save these documents so you can use them year after year.

2.     Use up as much of the food in your refrigerator as possible before shopping for Thanksgiving, so you can keep the food organized and avoid doubling up on ingredients.

3.     If the thought of cleaning and organizing your home for the holidays seems like an impossible task, hire a professional to help you. Not only will your home look incredible for your guests, but you’ll learn helpful tools for keeping it that way. Just be sure to make the call well in advance, before slots start booking up.

4.     Depending on their size, frozen turkeys take three to four days to thaw in the refrigerator, so make sure you take your turkey out of the freezer in time.

5.     Take stock of the dishes, tables, chairs, silverware and tablecloths you have available for Thanksgiving. If you come up short, consider borrowing from a friend or neighbor rather than buying more.

6.     Keep your Thanksgiving decorations simple and natural. Make a single centerpiece using real gourds and pumpkins, and create easy place cards by handwriting guests’ names on leaves spray painted a vibrant autumn color. Let the kids get in on the fun by crafting a napkin ring for each place setting.

7.     Purchase some disposable Tupperware containers before Thanksgiving, so you can pack up to-go dishes for everyone to share the leftovers. This will also limit the amount of food you have to fit back into your refrigerator after dinner.

8.     If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to delegate. Have each guest bring one appetizer, side or dessert, and cut down on the number of dishes you have to prepare yourself. If possible, prepare side dishes and pies ahead of time and freeze.