Halloween is hardly over and it’s already time to get ready for the next holiday. Thanksgiving! I love turkey and stuffing and for me, it’s always been a great day visiting friends and family in the US. One year, driving to Lawrence, KS and spending the holiday with my friends from school, it was actually so warm (21 C/70 F) that it didn’t feel like a cool autumn day. The walk after a huge meal was fantastic and it was such a relaxing weekend. I’m still looking back at it with fond memories.
Often, holidays like Thanksgiving can become a nightmare for the host. There’s so much to prepare and cooking a turkey takes for ever. To not get frazzled by it all, you can follow these 11 easy steps for a relaxed Thanksgiving party:
- Start with your guest list. Ask your guests to RSVP by a specific date. This will help you determine how much food you’ll need to prepare or order.
- Choose your menu. Are you going to cook yourself or will you get catering in? How much time will you require to cook the various dishes? Are there any dishes you could simplify? Instead of making a pie from scratch, you buy the crust and just make the filling, for example.
- If you’re cooking yourself, order your turkey. Especially out here in Dubai, you may not always get a turkey in the size you’re looking for. If your supermarket won’t stock turkeys, check out other supermarkets or chains and also visit a speciality butcher. The other option is to go for an alternative Thanksgiving BBQ.
- Choose any decoration like a floral centrepiece (watch out, they can be rather expensive) or little pumpkins which you can also paint with your children. What can you buy when you’re doing the grocery shopping? Can you get any floral decorations delivered the night before or on Thanksgiving Day?
- Write down your shopping list. This will help you buy everything you’ll need. Stores like Park & Shop carry a lot of American products generally not available in regular supermarkets in Dubai. Don’t forget beverages for the children and adults.
- Unclutter areas like your entrance, dining room, living room and patio area over the next 3 weeks. It’s a lot easier to go bit by bit for some people than a last minute panic rush the day before. Remove excessive shoes, bags and other items from your entrance and hall way. Go through old magazines and throw them out. Remove any dead plants from any room. Clean your patio furniture, put gardening equipment in their storage place and move toys into boxes for easy carrying.
- Get your kitchen, dining room and living room deep cleaned. What better opportunity to get motivated and show off these rooms to your guests? Book your cleaning appointment for the week before Thanksgiving.
- If you have friends coming to stay over, prepare the guest rooms. Put fresh bedlinen on, place towels into their bathroom and set some drinks on their bedside table. More tips can be found in this post.
- Choose your plates, silverware and serving gear. If you’re going for an outdoor Thanksgiving, do you still want to use the expensive plates and polished silverware? Will paper plates and disposable cups from stores like Party Centre be more suitable? Set the table the night before if you’re celebrating more formally in the dining room.
- Cooking a turkey will take hours. Look at your menu a few days before Thanksgiving. Ensure you know how long each dish will take and start cooking the longest dish first. Use baking time for other activities on the stove.
- Enjoy the time with your friends and family.
How are you going to enjoy Thanksgiving? Will you be celebrating it the traditional way with a Turkey or given our warmer temperatures, will you opt for an alternative main course?
I’m looking forward to hearing how you’re getting ready!
Until next time,