Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is next week! Whether you are having a small get together, or a HUGE gathering, try these hacks to help you survive the stress of Thanksgiving. If you are heading to someone else’s house to celebrate the festivities, share these 8 Hack with them!
- Clear out your cupboards, fridge and freezer 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. This is because part of the stress is knowing where to put all the Thanksgiving food! By clearing out your pantry in advance, you are now making room for all the new items, getting rid of older items, as well as saving some money because you are using up what you already have available.
- Prepare for the amount of people you are having over. Make sure you have the necessary tables, chairs and cutlery you will need. Nothing worse than the day of Thanksgiving to realize you are short chairs or seating space. If you can’t find the necessary items in advance, try asking friends and family to lend you what you need. If that doesn’t work, you can always rent necessary items from party rental companies.
- Spend less on decor. You don’t have to spend a lot to make a festive table. Instead of buying expensive arrangements consider buying flowers from your local grocer and breaking them down into smaller arrangements. The dollar tree has lovely small vases that would work wonders. Also, why not use your food items for decoration? Put out fruit and veggies on decorative platters (again, dollar tree). Don’t know how to arrange your food, check pinterest, they always have an array of simple (and complex) ideas. If you are the type that likes to fill the house up with holiday cheer, again, check out the dollar tree! They are always full of items for the season.
- Food short cuts. Sometimes you just don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen while hungry friends and family are socializing. If you have items that can be prepared in advance, don’t be afraid to do so. Make sure your vegetables and fruits are cut/peeled the night before (if they can be without getting yucky). If you are making homemade desserts, make them the night before as well. If it can be done before hand, do it! One turkey suggestion I read is that you can cut the backbone out of the turkey and lay it flat with the skin up. This will cut hours off the cooking time and will keep the skin brown and crispy.
- Don’t be afraid to bring out your cooler. Are you filling up your fridge with drinks (adult, kiddie, or anything else that takes up space)? Don’t be afraid to fill your cooler up with ice and stick the drinks in it. Besides opening up valuable space in the fridge, the drinks are now mobile. You can keep the cooler in the area that the guests are hanging out in, and eliminate people constantly coming in and out of the kitchen for a refill.
- Have guests pitch in. Most guests truly want to help. Many will ask before hand if they can bring anything. If you say no, chances are they will bring something anyway, and maybe something you end up with 10 of. Don’t be afraid to give someone an idea. You can try the whole potluck with you making the actual turkey. But if you aren’t for the whole potluck idea, ask people to bring desserts, drinks (doesn’t have to be alcoholic) or something they are known for making. If someone has children coming, don’t be afraid to ask them to bring something kid friendly. This will save you time, money and the hassle of getting those items together.
- Occupy children. Children are not going to sit at the table chit chatting when they are done. Make sure there are things to entertain them. Many Thanksgiving meals involve a kids table for this reason. Once they are done, they can have arts and crafts, or a movie, games etc. That way you can keep all that stuff off the adult table. Don’t be afraid to have some outdoor activities for them. Kids being cooped up indoors all day can lead to additional adult stress. Just make sure they dress appropriately for the weather.
- All those leftovers. If you’re like me, I love a fridge full of leftovers. I have a board on pinterest with recipes specifically for Thanksgiving leftovers. Not everyone wants all those leftovers cluttering up the fridge. If you are one of those people who isn’t into leftovers, make sure to send your guests home with plates. FYI: The dollar tree (woohoo) has packs of styrofoam containers with lids, to make easy plates to be sent home with the guests. Just leave the food out, the containers out, and let the guests fill up how they like.