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Hosting Thanksgiving? Do These 5 Things to Simplify the Day
November 14, 2022
A sweet reader asked if I had ever hosted Thanksgiving and if I had any tips for getting ready for the holiday. Yes! I love Thanksgiving and have hosted it and love the prep of the day and I realized that I haven’t ever shared that here on the site. Want my tips for simplifying the day? Through the years I’ve experienced all forms of the holiday – everything from a very full table at my grandma’s cozy little house (still my favorite), to an intimate gathering of just our family at home, to a crowd, and we’ve also enjoyed going out and eating at a restaurant at Thanksgiving too. Whatever your tradition is or what the year brings, I’m going to share my tips for getting ready for Thanksgiving when you’re hosting.
5 Things You Can Do to Simplify Thanksgiving
- Plan ahead. If you feel like sitting down and making a plan will take too much time, set a timer for 15 minutes and make a quick list. If you’re reading this on the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving, it’s not too late to make a plan.
- Choose what’s important. What are your top three things to complete before the big day. I’m guessing your list might read something like: set menu, shop for food, make food, clean house. Those things are the overreaching items typical for planning Thanksgiving but those are your categories – once you have established those, you’re ready to narrow down the list a bit and make it more specific. Details matter and it’ll definitely make it easier to plan the day. Look over your list and let go of anything that doesn’t need to be on the list. If you had wanted to get family pictures hung before Thanksgiving and haven’t gotten to it yet, it’s okay to table that for the weekend too!
- Start early. Once you’ve gotten the lists out on paper, distribute them out on the days leading up to Thanksgiving. If cleaning your house is on the schedule, spread it out so you’re not trying to clean the house and roast a turkey at the same time. This just one of the many reasons I love the Clean Mama Routine – you clean a little bit every day and have a plan for cleaning. This makes hosting and opening your home so much easier because you are being proactive with your cleaning all the time instead of reactive.
- Simplify everything. The Menu, the decorations, the plan for the day. It’s okay to keep things as simple as possible. If you’re having guests, delegate specific items for them to bring – beverages, dinner rolls, specific sides, desserts.
- Set yourself up for success. There are a handful of things you can do in advance that make Thanksgiving a little easier and the event run smoothly. These are my suggestions, feel free to create your own:
- Start with an empty dishwasher and/or sink. The empty dishwasher will keep the dishes off the counters because it’s ready to load.
- Turn the thermostat down 2-3 degrees before anyone arrives. This will keep your home at a nice temperature when the house heats up from the oven and extra people.
- Dim the lights, turn on lamps – make it cozy!