The holidays this year are looking different for many people, and you might be gearing up to host your first Thanksgiving. Here are a few tips to cut down stress and still enjoy the season:
Don’t try to roast a whole turkey
Some people might say its tradition, but we say that it is a lot of work. Try just grabbing a turkey breast at the store. They take less time to cook and are also less expensive.
Many people prefer ham over turkey anyway, so opt for that if it’s more your style.
Choose your favorite sides
Sweet potatoes, buttery rolls, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, a veggie tray, all part of the holiday tradition.
It’s a lot. If you’re having less people around for the holidays this year, keep it simple. From cranberry sauce to creamed corn, choose a few sides to go with your main turkey dish so you don’t spend all day (and the week before) in the kitchen.
Make whatever you can ahead of time
Some dishes can easily be reheated on Thanksgiving. Look for recipes that specifically mention how long the shelf-life is and if it keeps better in the fridge or freezer. Doing a quick clean of the freezer to make space is helpful too. This way, you can enjoy more time making memories with family and less time slaving over the oven.
Choose a simple tablescape
There are so many beautiful dining table decoration examples out there! But keeping it simple can easily look just as elegant. Try some themed napkins, candles, fall flowers or fruit, and goblets for some holiday cheer without all the fuss.
Make a plan for cleanup
It may sound a little overboard, but you don’t want to spend so much time washing dishes after cooking all day. Grab some help from your family members. Look for pretty disposable dishes options on Amazon. Put someone on dish duty as you are baking. All of these things will keep the mess at bay so you can enjoy the day as much as everyone else.
Some extra COVID tips:
- Make seating assignments so everyone is more likely to stay in their own space.
- Have hand sanitizer wherever you can.
- Try pre-plating dinner. This is a lot of work, but if you are really worried, having only one set of hands on the serving utensils creates a lower chance of spreading the virus.
Give everyone in attendance a chance to celebrate the season by having a competition. Whoever has the best, most creative, or most fun mask gets to choose which piece of pie they want first.
Remember, if you’re feeling totally overwhelmed and you have others coming over to the house, ask them to bring something to help you out! They can bring rolls, the mashed potatoes, or a pie!