I’m getting off pretty easy for Thanksgiving this year. Our parents are hosting. My aunt will be there to help Mommy with a lot of the meal prep before I even arrive. There will be lots of people around to entertain my baby. I’m pretty much just going to get to come, eat a lot of good food, and enjoy the company of family.
But last year I hosted Thanksgiving at my house, so I know how daunting of a task it can be. For anyone else out there who has to plan a menu, decorate a table, and figure out how to fit a dozen people in your home, here are some tips and ideas to help you out.
The Best Way to Roast a Turkey – This method of preparing a turkey from Simple Bites was what I used last year. It turned out great. Especially considering that it was my first attempt roasting a turkey.
Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie – I’ve never been a huge fan of pumpkin pie. But last year my sister-in-law made a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin. As in she roasted the pumpkin and scooped out the flesh and made it into yummy pie-ness instead of just buying a can at the store. Let me tell you, I thought it made a huge difference. I ate several pieces of that pie.
Sweet Potato Pomegranate Salad – I haven’t tried this recipe from Two Peas and their Pod, but I want to. It looks delicious. I think this could be a good choice if you are just responsible for a single side dish to take to your Thanksgiving dinner. It’s something a little different, and would look lovely in a pretty serving dish!
Last year my sisters helped me come up with this simple candle holder idea to line up along the center of our table. It was easy to make and super cheap.
I love the idea of using craft paper for a table cloth. This table from 4 Men 1 Lady is actually set for valentines day, but I could see it looking really nice on a Thanksgiving table. You could write each person’s name at their place or decorate it with small drawing of leaves or words of things you are thankful for. Any kiddos at the dinner could color on the table to keep themselves amused, and at the end of day you can just throw the whole thing away for easy clean-up.
I also think Thankful Trees are a lovely idea to not only decorate your home, but also create a tangible reminder of the real meaning of the day. This Thankful Tree from Simply Vintage Girl uses some really nice chalkboard tags, but you could go a little simpler and just cut out some leaf shapes from fall colored cardstock and have everyone write on that.
If there are a lot of people in your home, it’s important to keep things streamlined and in order. Here are a few suggestions of small ways to make it all a bit easier.
We made our own version of this utensil holder last year from The Idea Room. Not only is it pretty on the table, but if you do a buffet style serving line a small sleeve of untensils is a lot easier to pick up and carry with you.
I thought this idea from A Subtle Revelry was brilliant. It keeps your cups from getting mixed up but it’s prettier than the classic “write your name on a cup with a sharpie” move.
On Thanksgiving it seems that everything is vying for a place in the oven. It’s essential to make a schedule to plan out what to make when so you can know that everything will be ready and warm by dinner time! This guide from Cooks Illustrated gives some good general guidelines of how to plan for the big day.
I hope these suggestions help make your Thanksgiving a special one.