After the year we’ve all had, it is time to celebrate the holidays with your family or friends. While you may not be able to have everyone you want to have over, that doesn’t mean you have to cut back on the fun. So here are some tips – from the decorations to the meal itself – which will make celebrating Thanksgiving easier and more fun this year.
We don’t recommend winging a Thanksgiving meal – even if there are only a few people and regardless of how informal it may be. Plan a few days in advance. First think about your entire menu – not just turkey or ham, sides, and dessert.
You need to be exact as you want to make sure you have all the ingredients you’ll need, and if they will all fit in your fridge. Not only that – you will want to make sure you have the right tools you need. Do you have an electric blender? Does the recipe call for a food processor? Then you need to come up with a reasonable timeline for your big meal. The more organized you are the less stressed you will be.
Regardless of whether you are cooking a ham or a turkey, the main meat of the meal is going to dominate the oven for most of the day. Remember that you most likely only have four burners on your stove, so try to incorporate a few cold sides such as salad, etc. If you must have sides that require the oven, then we suggest making them a day early – so that all you have to do is heat it up on the big day. We recommend making your dessert a day to two earlier, as well.
The Guest List
You really need to consider space first when coming up with a guest list for Thanksgiving. Determine how many people can fit around the table, in the living room, or etc. Once you have a number you should try your best to stick with it. Let the friends and family you can invite know that there is a no plus-one policy. You want to ensure that the guests you do invite can sit comfortably and have their meals. Please be specific about what you want your friends to bring on the big day, whether it be food, drinks, tables, utensils, etc. You will be grateful for the help.
What to Do the Week Before
Once you’ve made the meal plan and the guest list, it is time to shop for all the ingredients or anything else you may need. Remember in the days leading up to Thanksgiving that the grocery stores are packed. We recommend going as early as you can. Clean out your fridge to make sure you have enough room for everything beforehand. You need space to defrost the turkey; we wouldn’t recommend leaving it out on the counter for too long in the Florida heat.
What to Do the Day Before
As we mentioned earlier, please try to get as much cooking done as possible. If you can’t cook the meal, you can prep for it by cutting the vegetables, herbs, etc. The more you do ahead of time, the less stressed you will be on Thanksgiving Day. We highly recommend cleaning the day before as well. Not just vacuuming and dusting, but also getting rid of as much clutter as possible. You don’t have to go nuts on decorations for Thanksgiving.
Space is Everything
Space is everything when hosting a holiday dinner in an apartment! Rearrange your furniture to make the most of your area and don’t be afraid of making everything into a seat. Even a pile of pillows can make a good seat for some whose knees won’t creak too much getting up and down. If you aren’t able to sit everyone around the same table, don’t worry about it! Seat the older people in the crowd in the comfiest seats and the football fans in eyesight of the TV and you cannot go wrong.
We recommend hanging things up as much as you can instead of putting decorations down on the surfaces. If you do, make sure it does double duty, like a nice pumpkin-scented candle. The turkey will be the centerpiece of the dining room table or at least it will serve as a centerpiece for your kitchen countertop.
The Big Day
Regardless of how much you’ve done to prepare for the big day, it is still a good idea to get up early – as you never know what could go wrong. Get that coffee going – you are going to need it. Get the turkey in and all the rest of the preparations will be a piece of cake. Your loved ones will appreciate all your good work.
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone here at Garden Communities!