8 Tips for an Easy Thanksgiving
Let the Kids Take Over Decorating
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to create the perfect Thanksgiving ambiance in your home, but between prepping and cooking, it can be hard to find the time. This year, let the kids handle the Thanksgiving decorations. It’ll be a fun activity that might even get them out of the kitchen for an hour or two. Supply them with fun Thanksgiving decor, such as faux corn and Thanksgiving tablecloths, and leave them to it. They’ll love having a say in decorating, and you’ll love having one less thing to worry about.
Prepare Your Table the Night Before
You’ll have plenty to do the day of Thanksgiving, between getting the turkey just right and preparing other side dishes. Take one more thing off the to-do list by preparing your table the night before. You can enlist the kids help or not, depending on how late you start. Take your time placing dishes, folding napkins, and placing every decoration until your tablescape is just right! Preparing your table in advance allows you to take as long as you need to get your table looking beautiful.
Invest in Pantry Organizers
Any Thanksgiving veteran knows how disorganized pantries can become on the big day. Avoid clutter by using pantry organizers. Not only will these keep every can and dry ingredient in place, but it will keep your overall kitchen organized and ready for the big day. You can even use organizers for your cups, plates, cutlery, and much more! These organizers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including shelves and containers that keep items separate. This’ll make rifling through your kitchen easier!
No matter how much you prepare in advance, you only have so much stove space. Avoid cold or lukewarm dishes by using crockpots. Mashed potatoes, gravy, and other side dishes can be easily kept warm in a crock pot until it’s time to chow down. Depending on how many side dishes you have, use your own crockpots or ask your guests to come with them. If it means having a tastier meal, your guests will be more than happy to help.
Prepare What You Can in Advance
Make things easier on yourself this year by preparing a few dishes in advance! You can easily make turkey stock, gravy, cranberry, and pies a few days before and put them in the freezer. Take them out the night before Thanksgiving to let them thaw. None of your guests will suspect a thing, and you’ll have saved yourself time on Thanksgiving Day.
Prep the Turkey
Now to the most important part of Thanksgiving– the turkey! Depending on how busy you’ll be this year, it might be best to prep your turkey as far in advance as possible. If you’re planning on brining your turkey, you can take care of it one to three days ahead of Thanksgiving Day. The longer you brine your turkey, the more flavorful it will turn out on the big day. It’s also worth investing in a sturdy pan and oven rack to support your turkey when it’s cooking.
Organize Guest Rooms
If you have friends or family visiting from out of town, get your guest rooms ready the week before they arrive. Whether you have a designated guest room, or you need to convert one of your kid’s rooms in an acceptable guest room, make sure your loved ones will feel comfortable and welcome. For tips on how to prepare a cozy guestroom, read our Welcoming Guest Bedroom Ideas guide.
Have Games and Crafts Ready
When you’re busy preparing your Thanksgiving meal, the last thing you need is kids and other family members running around in the kitchen. Keep them entertained by providing them with games and crafts. Whether you stick to simple board games or kick off a round of “Pin the Feather on the Turkey,” friends and family will be too preoccupied to interfere with your last-minute preparations.