It's never too early to start planning. With family members getting vaccinated and looser restrictions on get-togethers, you might be planning on hosting the Thanksgiving you never got to have last year.
With that said, here are some tips on how to plan ahead for the festivities this year to make sure you have a game plan for whatever you're planning this year.
1. To Have Thanksgiving or Not to have Thanksgiving, that is the question.
Before starting any planning, know where you stand this year for Thanksgiving. If you're usually the host, do you want to host this year? If you're usually the guest, will you attend the entire festivity, or would you rather have a quick pop in? Know what you want to do and discuss it with other members to understand what they would like to do to ensure everyone is on the same page and to set expectations.
2. Don't be afraid to say no.
If you don't feel comfortable having Thanksgiving this year or feel more comfortable staying at home, don't be afraid to skip it this year, given that the pandemic is still going on.
Also, don't be afraid to have a small Thanksgiving with your closest family or friends, given the circumstances.
3. Spread out the preparations over a few days
Instead of scrambling to get the dishes, tables, extra seating and décor ready the night before, why not dedicate a few days to getting everything you need? Then, spread out your tasks and complete them in the days leading up to the big day. This includes making a grocery list and getting items well ahead of time.
And with that said…
4. Try to prepare as many meals ahead of time as you can, and don't be afraid to buy pre-made meals.
Cooking a turkey is time-consuming. A lot of people tend to cook the turkey and other oversized items the day of. As a result, they spend most of the day in the kitchen and not enough time enjoying company.
If you're one of these people, try to prepare as much food as you can a day or two before and put it in the oven or zap it in the microwave when it's almost time to eat. Don't be afraid to cook and carve that turkey a day ahead and heat it the next day in the oven. It will still turn out delicious, and you can enjoy your company.
Also, don't be afraid to buy pre-made meals to save time, like purchasing a pie instead of making one from scratch.
This year, try making things easy on yourself by organizing and preparing things ahead of time. This will make Turkey Day go by smoother and gives you and your family enough time to enjoy your day.