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Getting Organized For Thanksgiving

Getting Organized For Thanksgiving
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BY KITT WALSH

I barely got the Halloween decorations down before I spotted the bell ringers at the supermarket. What that means to me is I’d better get ready for Thanksgiving now to avoid getting the crazies at the very beginning of the holiday season.

Here’s a few tips I’ve learned over the years to make your life easier if the whole crowd is “coming over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house” for the feast:

Ask for RSVP’s: Sure, many of your guests are probably family, but sending out an Evite asking if Uncle John really is coming this year and is he bringing all six of his kids) helps make planning easier.

Make room: One of the best purchases I ever made was a cafeteria-style rectangular metal table (just like those you sat at in school) and metal folding chairs (with upholstered backs). It was delivered by a semi-truck, cost a little over $100 and has served as holiday, craft and gaming table ever since. Covered with a tablecloth (note the measurements when you order the table and get yourself a new tablecloth) no one will ever know it’s not a dining set.

Order your turkey: Seems like a no-brainer, right? But too many people wait to see what is in the case a couple of days before the holiday. Place your order for fresh or frozen (allow a few days to thaw) bird from your butcher and you can pick your day to pick it up. Or consider having your groceries delivered by a service through your supermarket. Order online and for a small fee, everything comes right to your door.

Buy wine on sale: Don’t run into the liquor store the night before the Big Day. Things get very expensive then.

Clean your house: Do this a few days beforehand and then don’t stress about it. A quick wipe of the bathroom just before guests arrive and some scented candles will cover a multitude of sins. When in doubt, shut the door!

Conduct a Dress Rehearsal: Layout all cooking utensils pots, pans (and those elusive lids), basters, twine, pins, serving utensils and all china, glasses and linens. Don’t forget plastic wrap, foil, Tupperware, Ziplocs for leftovers. Do this the week beforehand and you’ll give yourself time to pick up anything you forgot.

Make room in the fridge: Cleaning the refrigerator now is a good plan, too (as is cleaning the oven) but make sure you have made space for the turkey and leftovers.

Bake the pies the day before: Free up your oven space and make desserts and any sides you can the day before so all you need do is reheat.

Set the table early: Put little notes in each bowl so helpers know what food gets served in what dish.

Get ready for Murphy’s Law: Ask everyone in your household to help you remember the annual Forgotten Thing. In our house, we always find the cranberry sauce after the meal’s been served. In yours, it may be to bake the crescent rolls.

Put recipes on your smart phone: Have it with you in the kitchen and make a schedule of what goes in the oven when and at what temperature. It’s like choreographing a musical score and then all you do is follow the melody.

Assign chores: Everybody offers to help. Give them something useful to do. Many hands really do make light work.

Give thanks: Remember to do this amidst the bustle. I have tried to institute the tradition of going around the table to say what each of us is thankful for (with mixed results.) But, no matter what, I will start the day, even before I get out of bed, by making a mental list of my blessings. At the table, I will toast my family and friends and tell them the truth: I am thankful, beyond words, for all of them.

I hope your Thanksgiving is just as warm and memorable.

 

 

 

 

 

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Kitt Walsh owns a web content company, Behind Blogs (http://www.behindblogs.com), is a regular contributor to CNN Money, a public speaker on Social Media, a book editor and ghostwriter, and freelances as a feature writer, editor and marketing consultant for magazines, newspapers and private clients around the world.