Friday, November 25, 2011

Lessons Learned from Hosting my Second Thanksgiving

Time with family is just the best isn't it?  We are lucky enough to live in the same city with both of our sets of parents, and with my extended family.  Thanksgivings in the past have always involved having 3 dinners, one with Corey's family, one with my dad's family, and one with my mom's family.  While this is wonderful and we loved getting to see everyone on one day, it makes for a very rushed feeling turkey day.  You feel like you don't get enough time with anyone, and you feel guilty leaving to rush off to the next dinner.  Last Thanksgiving both of our families were generous enough to allow us to have one big celebration at our house.  This works out great for us, plus we know that we will still get to see our extended families on Christmas.  I was much less overwhelmed and flustered this year I have to say!  I think I'm getting the hang of this thing!  Here are some lessons learned that I thought you might appreciate:

1.  Don't turn anyone down if they offer to bring something & assign people things to bring

2.  Check to make sure you have plenty of salt & pepper, aluminum foil, baggies, and tupperware, etc. to pack up leftovers for guests to take with them and for you to keep.

3.  Do not stress, no matter what gets messed up either a.) no one will notice because you have so much other food or b.) no one will really care if they even notice

4.  It is SOOOOO helpful to plan ahead (see #5, 6, & 7)

5.  Make your menu list a week or so before, then re-look at it the next day to cut it down if needed - you don't have to make everything

6.  Do your grocery shopping at least 3 days prior because you will inevitably forget something

7.  Do as much prep work before hand as possible - I made my casseroles Tuesday night and stuck them in the fridge so I only had to bake them the day of & I made all desserts Wednesday night (yes I worked Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday!)

8.  If you peel and chop your potatoes before the big day, keep them in cold water in the fridge so you don't wake up to brown/black potatoes...(like apples yellow when pre-cut)

9.  Don't feel like you need to make every pie/dessert that's ever been served on Thanksgiving, everyone will undoubtedly be stuffed & probably not even eat pie

10.  Allow people to help on the day of in the kitchen, that is where the memories are made people!  (See #3) Take a minute to slow down and give out tasks, people want to help and it makes it more fun!  The holidays are about time spent together, not serving the perfect meal (this is one I learned going from last year to this year and made me feel so much more relaxed!)

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