6 Ways To Simplify Thanksgiving
It’s funny how the holiday season always seems to sneak up on the majority of the world.
Christmas is always the 25th of December, and Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday in November. Sounds simple enough, but somehow the looming holidays can be quite overwhelming. All the events, food, cooking, decorating, shopping for gifts, and getting everything wrapped can seem like a monumental, expensive feat.
Let’s start with Thanksgiving.
Whether you have been planning for months, or if Thanksgiving is next week, and you are just getting a plan together, here are some tips for simplifying this well-loved, family holiday.
1. Keep the menu simple.
I know it is tempting to have EVERY SINGLE DISH that can possibly be associated with Thanksgiving dinner, but can you really even enjoy turkey, 10 different side dishes, AND 4-5 types of dessert?? No one I know can fully appreciate that much food , and trust me- we have some very hearty eaters in our family! Make ahead dishes are always a wonderful addition. My lacto-fermented cranberry apple relish is one of my favorite make ahead dishes for both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners!
2. Use only fresh, in-season food.
This will help simplify your menu, and incidentally, keep it on a more healthy track! This holiday is one of the few that makes this easy.
Cranberries, apples, pumpkins, winter squash, potatoes, nuts, turkey, corn, and salad greens are all seasonally appropriate foods, which makes them freshly available. Why grab a can of pumpkin when you have 10 perfect pie pumpkins decorating your porch and living room?
3. Keep the invite list small.
Did you know that the best dinner parties are made up of no more than 8-10 adults? So, if you are doing a family dinner, set some boundaries on the invite list. Your second cousin twice removed doesn’t HAVE to be invited!
Maybe invite immediate family only, or stick with only one side of the family. We love our tradition of celebrating with my side of the family one year, and my husband’s side the next year.
4. Have each guest bring a specific dish.
Just because you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, doesn’t mean you have to buy and prepare every part of it. I’m not talking about a free-for-all potluck here, but a specifically assigned dish for each guest/family to bring.
For example-Have your sister bring the salad and sweet potatoes, and your mom bring the stuffing and the rolls. Then you can focus on the rest!
5. Do away with those themed dishes and decorations.
You don’t need dishes that have turkeys and pilgrims on them to serve Thanksgiving dinner. It’s just one more thing to buy and store that will only be used once or twice a year. Stick with tasteful fall decorations, and just use your regular dishes!
6. Please, please stay at home, or wherever you are celebrating Thanksgiving Day!
Rushing out the door on Thursday evening to go Black Friday shopping is a sure way to add extra stress to the day. Personally, I avoid Black Friday like the plague, and instead, choose Small Business Saturday to do any shopping I may need. If you DO choose to participate in Black Friday, at least wait until Friday to begin. 🙂
So, take a step back, and see what steps you can make to make this Thanksgiving more simple and stress free!