Thanksgiving is one of the biggest holidays in the United States, with over 96% of Americans heading to family homes and gathering together. With all the anticipation over a delicious meal, Thanksgiving can also bring on pressure to make the day perfect. That’s why we’ve gathered five helpful tips to make sure your Thanksgiving celebration is stress-free for you and your guests!
- Plan, plan and plan some more! It's an obvious tip but planning as far in advance as possible is the easiest way to ensure you're not surprised by last-minute tasks in the kitchen. At least two weeks ahead of turkey day, try to have a detailed menu and grocery list - while you may not have all the ingredients just yet, knowing what you need to purchase checks one thing off your list. Have many dishes to make yourself? Items like cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and more can be made in advance.
- Stay in your (culinary) comfort zone. While we're on the subject of food, Thanksgiving with 25 of your closest relatives is probably not the time to be testing out the new soy turkey and kale recipe you found online. The less recipes you need to remember, the better, so stick to dishes you can make from memory or have made before. If you're hungry for something new, ask a guest to bring one of their signature dishes!
- Ask for help! The host or hostess does not have to do everything - and most often, the friends and family joining you for the holiday would love to be your support system. Lean on those who are experts for their advice and assistance. If you're not much of a cook, make dinner a potluck with everyone bringing their favorite dish.
- Plan other activities besides eating. Even though the day does revolve around eating, avoid a lull in conversation or the children running around the home with some easy to pull together activities. Use a reading nook or the living room in your Stanley Martin home to create a craft zone for the children to paint hand turkeys or adorn their very own pilgrim hat. For the adults, fun games like charades or card games are quick to coordinate and provide a way to laugh off the food you've eaten.
- Leftovers are your friends.When grandparents or cousins are staying overnight, there's no need to go grocery shopping for new dishes. Using leftovers from the night before allows you to create meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a snap. Use the mashed potatoes, veggies, turkey and gravy for a savory twist on a Shepherd's pie, have the kids make their own turkey sandwiches for lunch or finish up the cheddar from a cheeseboard in a breakfast quiche.
With these tips for handling Thanksgiving, you’re now ready to welcome friends and family for the big day. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Stanley Martin Homes!
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