Planning your first Thanksgiving in your new Marvida home can be exciting and slightly overwhelming. You want to establish traditions and create lasting memories. Here are some tips for hosting your first Thanksgiving meal:
Create a Guest List
Make a list of everyone you plan to invite. This will ensure that you have enough seats for everyone and help you with menu planning and grocery shopping. Consider sending out evites. That way you know who is coming and there will be fewer last-minute surprises.
Plan Your Menu (But Don’t Stress)
Planning your meal will help decrease holiday stress. You can see which items can be made ahead of time and which ones can be purchased. If you are thinking of purchasing an entire prepared meal, order now. If anyone asks what they can bring, tell them. People love sharing their special recipes and it’s one less dish you will have to cook.
Don’t Try Complicated Recipes
You want your meal to be special so it’s tempting to try one of those complicated recipes found in glossy food magazines. Don’t. Keep things simple so you can spend more time with your guests.
Make a Shopping List
Once you’ve decided on a menu, create a grocery list. Divide it into perishables and non-perishables. You can buy non-perishables a week in advance. Don’t purchase your perishables until a few days before the feast. Purchase your turkey early
Buy the Turkey
When buying your turkey, plan on three-quarters to a pound of turkey per person. A frozen turkey must be thawed thoroughly. Most chefs recommend one day of thawing for every four pounds of turkey.
Make sure you have everything you need to prepare Thanksgiving dinner including a roasting pan large enough for your turkey, serving dishes, plates and silverware. Purchase anything you need now.
Prepare for Overnight Guests
Tidy the house and prepare the guest room if you will have guests staying overnight. Make sure you have clean towels in the bathroom and clean sheets on the bed. For fun, set up a small coffee or tea station in the room. Fresh flowers on the dresser or chocolates on the pillow give guests the feel of staying at a bed and breakfast.
The Day Before
The night before Turkey Day, double check your ingredients to make sure you have everything. Clean your kitchen. If you bought a home in Marvida, you probably have plenty of counterspace, but lay out non-perishables ahead of time to make sure you have enough prep space. If children will be attending, put away any precious items. Clear your hall closet to make room for guests’ coats. Set your table the night before so you have one less thing to worry about the day of.
Wake up early. Everything takes longer than you think it will, so you want to build in some extra time. Have a checklist ready. It should tell you what time to put items in the oven and how long they need to cook. If guests have offered to help, accept that help and write down what you want them to do. Kids need to be entertained, so set up lawn and board games. If you have a game room, prepare it for kids with comfortable chairs, a gaming console and a quiet corner where kids can decompress.
Thanksgiving is about being grateful and spending time with family and friends. Don’t stress if something goes wrong. Rather than getting upset, laugh and use it as a learning experience for next year.