While it can be a daunting task to take on, here are 10 tips and tricks to keep you sane and make it the best day ever!
1. Have a plan
While you shouldn’t plan too far in advance, having a plan roughly three weeks in advance will help you to know exactly what you’ll need to serve all of your guests. This could mean purchasing a folding table and chairs, new dishes, or extra cutlery, along with a complete menu and timing for the day. Will there be appetizers? What time will everyone arrive? When will food be served? Do you need to hire someone to straighten up the house while you’re taking care of everything else? Housekeeping Associates has got you.
2. Lists are your friend
Make lists of EVERYTHING. Do you need to pick people up from the airport? Write down who, from where, what time and what day. Who all will be attending? Make a list of all guests. Are there any dietary restrictions? Write those down too, so there’s quality food for all. Make note of any professionals you need to contact, such as house cleaners or bakers, as well as any supplies you’re lacking in and take care of those in the weeks prior.
3. Don’t get creative
This may sound a bit callous, but a large holiday event is hardly the time to step way outside your comfort zone and get crazy with your culinary concepts. It can be very stressful when you don’t stick to what you know, and it’s difficult to predict how things will go and if the food will even turn out the way you hope.
4. Create a detailed shopping list
It may be a no-brainer, but here’s your reminder. Make that list, check it twice, and don’t leave it at home! What I like to do is make a list of each thing I’m preparing, then write down below it exactly what ingredients I’ll be needing. Perhaps you prefer to do this on your phone so you’ve got it with you, or maybe it’s better to write it out. If the latter is true, then I suggest taking a quick picture on your phone just in case you lose or forget the list.
Once you’ve made those purchases, it’s simple to separate them out into the meals they’re meant for. Perhaps store each meal’s non-perishables in separate grocery bags in the garage until you’re ready to cook them. The night before Thanksgiving, maybe gather all of the family and friends currently residing in your home to help you prep the food and place it in the fridge until it’s go time the next day.
6. Outsource and Delegate
There’s no shame in this game. Is your house a mess and you don’t have the time or energy to clean? Call Housekeeping Associates to get that job done for you! Do you have relatives living nearby? Great! Have them make one of the items! Maybe they’re short on time, money, or cooking ability? Purchase the ingredients for a specific dish, gather them into one bag and staple the recipe to the top. Additionally, take a look around your town and see if there’s any specialty shops that you can purchase quality, pre-made food from. There might be a local butcher offering a selection of brined turkey or honeybaked ham. While it may be a bit more costly, this can save your sanity at times. Just think about what you’d like to prepare yourself, then delegate and outsource the rest!
7. Be flexible
At the last minute, you could get a call from cousin Will asking if he can bring his friend that has no family nearby. This is okay! No one wants someone to be alone during the holidays, so make your menu a little larger than necessary and have some spare chairs lying around. I guarantee no one will be upset if it’s a bit cramped, and are there any better leftovers than at Thanksgiving? Absolutely not!
8. Keep it simple
This means you probably don’t need that crazy, hand-crafted centerpiece on the table. Or maybe you don’t need the napkins folded like turkeys. Perhaps you don’t need actual silverware because plasticware will do just fine and it means less dishes. Look at what matters most to you on this day, and stick with it. A clean house and good food is all you need; don’t stress yourself out.
9. Make sure you’re ready
Housekeeping Associates can take care of the cleaning while you take care of the rest. Let us take that burden off your shoulders. A clean kitchen makes the cooking process so much easier, and sparkling bathrooms will impress everyone with your perceived ability to “do it all”!
10. Prepare for overnight guests
The holidays mean out of town guests, and maybe your guest room has been collecting dust since last years big celebrations. The professionals at Housekeeping Associates can freshen that area up, clear out the moths and make sure it’s ready and comfortable for visitors.
If you’re struggling to find side dishes, we’ve got you covered with this family recipe for a Thanksgiving staple!
Babe’s Green Bean Casserole
2 Cans of Sliced Green Beans
1 Small Can of Sliced Mushrooms
1 Clove of Fresh Garlic
1 Can of Fried Onion Rings
12 Slices of American Cheese (from deli)
4 T. Butter
2 t. Salt
4 T. Flour
1 t Chili Powder
2 Cups of Milk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Layer the green beans, garlic, mushrooms and cheese in a casserole dish