The holidays easily become stressful if you plan on having a lot of guests over. Organization and taking things step by step can go a long ways to reducing a headache and feeling prepared. Here we share with you some tips on what to do to stay focused to have the best Thanksgiving this year.
Involve the Whole Family in Deep Cleaning
Clean the house top to bottom a few days before guests arrive; perhaps schedule the weekend before to get it done. Don’t plan too far ahead – houses can get messy again quickly. Put clutter away and scrub down the bathrooms and kitchen. Leave games out if those are part of the itinerary. If guests are staying over, don’t forget to organize the closets and drawers, too!
Rake the Yard
It is that time of year. Hit the front yard first, since that is where people will be leaving in and out of. If there is time after the front yard and deep cleaning the house, then rake the backyard and deck.
Create a Dinner and Dessert Plan
Assign a dish to everyone who will be attending. You may choose to have people bring what is normally their best dish. You could also have them bring what they want to see in a Thanksgiving dinner – whoever says, “Potato salad would be great!” is the one who has to make it.
Make sure to collaborate with everyone that is coming. It’d be a drag if three people came with dinner rolls and no one brought pumpkin pie. Try setting up a shared Google doc with a list of dishes or items everyone will bring. This will avoid duplicate dishes and ensure every tasty dish that is essential to a complete Thanksgiving experience will be served.
Schedule the Day
Set an exact time you want to dinner and dessert to start. This makes you plan ahead when to start cooking and will help you avoid delays and hungry, waiting people.
Schedule activities everyone wants to do around meal times. When is time to play board/card games? When is movie time? It makes it easier to entertain guests when the fun is planned. I recommend choosing or discussing with everyone beforehand what the movie title and games will be played. This way, less time will be spent figuring things out on the spot, and everyone will have more time for the fun.
Once everyone is over, it is time to relax and have fun with family and friends. Even though a schedule is set, things come up that can throw things off. No worries. The point of the schedule is to make sure you have a plan and no one is left bored. But sometimes, spontaneity takes over and that’s fine.
Have a happy Thanksgiving!