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Host an Easier Thanksgiving This Year

Make this Thanksgiving a fun and restful day with family. Here are a few ways to eliminate stress and make this year's holiday easy.

Thanksgiving is a day filled with family, football, food, and far too often, stress. We’re tempted to go overboard on table prep, food selection, and a nearly-endless list of little details. Why not save some time and effort this year so you can finally just enjoy the day off? Relax. It’s just Thanksgiving!

Easier prep and cooking

Set your table the night before. Why not? It’s just one less thing you have to do on the big day. Simple, right?

Prep the menu early. Having an easy Thanksgiving is all about preparing ahead of time. Make a list of foods, finish the grocery shopping, and plan dinner at least a week ahead of time. Check out these 2 sample menus: one easy one advanced.

Do it potluck style. Why do all the work yourself? Ask your guests if there’s a holiday favorite they’d like to bring. You give them a chance to contribute with a special recipe, and cranking out every dish isn’t your responsibility alone. Plus, you may find a brand new favorite and have one less dish to wash!

The Cracker Barrel Heat n’ Serve. Some may call this lazy. We call it Southern done smart. Did you know you can order a full Thanksgiving meal for 10 that’s ready with just a couple hours of warming?! Welcome to America, folks. But seriously, order ahead of time since quantities are limited. Cooking doesn’t get easier than this.

… And throw in a turkey-shaped origami napkin. Honestly, you don’t need an elaborate table setting if you can pull turkey napkins off. Learn how to fold ‘em here.

Turkey Origami Napkins

Clean-up (on easy mode)

The easiest possible way to handle clean-up is to not to do it all. Use disposable plates, silverware, and napkins. Is anyone really going to care or complain if they’re not eating off of porcelain? And don’t think that just because it’s plastic, it can’t be nice and fancy. Look at this white and gold lace tableware package for 20 guests. You’d almost feel bad throwing those away though.

Plastic China

For the clean up you can’t avoid, here are some of our favorite tricks:

  • Clean as you go. If guests show up early, do the small talk in the kitchen as you clean a bit. Most folks will ask how they can help.
  • Liners, liners, liners. Make ample use of aluminum foil, wax paper, and slow cooker liners. Just toss ‘em when you’re done.
  • Don’t touch the desserts! This one is almost too easy. Just keep all the desserts covered until the first round of dishes is done. No cheating!
  • Prep the trash can. Line your kitchen can with a few bags ahead of time. Remove one and the next is ready to go. No one needs to hunt under your sink for replacements.
  • Use vinegar. For those greasy dishes, use a little white vinegar with your water to cut right through the grime.

Almost forgot to mention…

Having a house is step one for hosting a Thanksgiving meal. You might need more room than what you’ve got in your apartment. And what a coincidence! We help 200+ Texans become homeowners every month. We’d be happy to help you get going with a pre-approval, completely free of charge. It only takes 90 seconds to start.