Thanksgiving in 1-2-3
November, 2013 · By Coryanne Ettiene
Thanksgiving is that one meal that takes ages to plan, moments to eat and hours to clean up. Alarm bells all over the country will be set for the crack of dawn with the oven timer being set shortly there after, brothers and sister will squabble, children will spill juice on white carpets and dogs will hover around the table looking for that one moment when no one is looking. Thanksgiving traditions, on the other hand, are very different…. everyone has one, but none are the same. Dinner times, side dishes, the perfect recipe for gravy and kitchen duties all vary. Growing up, our tradition was to drink, snack, drink some more and eat; making for the most memorable of meal time discussions – evidence I still have on an cassette recorder I snuck to the table in 1984.
Without a doubt anyone hosting Thanksgiving this year has all but memorized their shopping list, mapped out their cooking schedule and is quietly worrying over any number of “what ifs”, all of which is totally out of our control. The trick to mastering a fabulous and festive Thanksgiving is as easy as 1-2-3.
1. Keep the children busy. Give the children the task of creating place cards, it will keep them busy and involved. Busy children are happy children, the more you give them to do the less time they have to engage in mischief…but then, that in itself, is a fabulous adventure. Learn how Xander and I made a batch of Thanksgiving place cards in my latest Celebrations feature here.
2. Don’t let your guest starve or go thirsty. Set up a “help yourself” station that allows guests to whip up a signature cocktail, and nibble on light items like cheese, crackers and fruit while you prepare the feast.
3. Enjoy yourself. Above all, don’t let the cooking get in the way of the celebration. Ask for help in the kitchen, ask for side dishes, enlist people to set the table and clean up after. Don’t forget to venture out of the kitchen, sit at the table and enjoy yourself. A happy host is the perfect recipe for a happy occasion.
Once the dishes are cleared and the bellies are full, join me in enjoying the evening with family, skip the shopping. I pledge not to shop on Thanksgiving because I am passionate about the joys that are found at the table with family and friends and hope that next year retailers will share that passion with their employes. From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.