I love gathering with family and friends over the holidays.
Hosting a gathering can be expensive if you try to do everything yourself. Several weeks before the big day make a plan. I have an index card that I use every year for both Christmas and Thanksgiving. Finalize your guest list and confirm how many people will be there. Find out if anyone has food allergies. Make a menu plan of the foods that you would like to serve. Keep it simple; you don’t need to have lots of extra side dishes. What can be made ahead and what dishes would you like others to bring? Make a cooking plan and a shopping schedule. Remember the more preparation you can do ahead of the big day the less stressed you will be.
Many dishes can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. Pie crusts and other baked goods can be prepared ahead of time and placed in your freezer.
The week before thanksgiving make sure all your tablecloths and dishes are cleaned and ready to go. If possible you can even set your table ahead of time.
Every other year we celebrate Thanksgiving with my brother-in-law and his family. I love the way his wife organizes the day. About two weeks before Thanksgiving, everyone that’s invited gets an email with the food requests. Certain family members are known for various dishes, a special apple-cranberry pie, creamed onions or a green bean casserole for example.
The hostess provides all the table settings and a turkey and a ham.
Everyone else provides the side dishes. It’s a great way to enjoy the holiday without getting stressed out about all the food you have to prepare. I look forward to this Thanksgiving; it will be a wonderful time with the family with lots of delicious food to enjoy. I thank my brother-in-law and his wife for making it all possible; they are wonderful hosts and hostesses!
Remember you don’t have to do it all yourself! When everyone is gathered have slips of paper with various jobs written out. Everyone loves to pitch in and help. Let people do the jobs like light the candles, fill the water glasses, load the dishwasher. People are more than willing to help out and you will enjoy the day more if you are not trying to do everything yourself.
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