A few weeks ago I posted on Mindy’sBest about the holidays and what stresses come with those and most of you said “family” and “how to have all the food ready at the same time and keep it warm!” Let’s just say these are only touching the surface of all the hosting responsibilities. Soooo much goes into hosting a big group or even just your little family. So much food to buy and to have all the place settings just right can be stressful! For now lets touch on getting the table and food out. Another blog post will come soon about the family part of this.
Thanksgiving doesn’t need to be a big production. It can be as easy or as stressful as you want it to be. If you want to throw a big fancy dinner, do it. If you want to have a simple dinner, do it! I pulled out all my plates and chargers and made it look really pretty and it didn’t break the bank and kill me for time. I want to show you what I did and places to shop to make it look pretty and simple.
My first tip for hosting thanksgiving is to SHOP EARLY! Too many times I’ve gone to the store right before a big holiday and all the stuffing, marshmallows, or yams are gone and I’m left running to a million stores. It’s the holidays and we just don’t have time to run everywhere! The biggest way to make this easier is to plan ahead of time. Make your list now and hit the stores a week or two early. Shop for fresh produce a day or two ahead of the big day. We can’t get those items too far in advance but all the canned or frozen stuff can be bought a few weeks ahead. One way to cut down on costs is to buy store brands of foods that you can and other foods get name brand. Kroger, Great Value, and Western Family are a great way to save a few bucks before Christmas. Also one funny tip from yesterdays video is to shop at a store you’re familiar with. Don’t try a new store when you have a lot to buy.
Fancy doesn’t have to mean expensive, for instance I got these beautiful goblets from Dollar Tree. Yes, you read that right! They were $1 folks. A buck and they make my table look so much prettier! I also had mismatched cups so I headed to T.J. Maxx and got some new ones for under $15. I love everything to match and look uniform so it was time after almost 14 years of marriage to buy new cups. The other ones had broken and I didn’t have a complete set anymore, so it was time. Everything I got for my table came from Ross, T.J.Maxx or Home Goods. They all have super affordable prices. I took the plates I have from Macy’s and layered them with a cute napkin and it made it look so fancy. I have these napkins in a few colors and love them. This could be done with a paper napkin too! My exact chargers aren’t available anymore but I found these cute ones that would be really pretty under your plates. Place your silverware. (Yes, I had to look up exactly how to set formal silverware.) I don’t get too formal over here so I looked it up and it looks beautiful! This is my year round table runner and I found it at Classy Clutter but theirs is out of stock so I found a similar one here. I feel like it makes all the colors pop against the black and white.
Now that the table settings are made, how do you decorate the table to look pretty? I went around my house and found some of my pumpkins and fall decorations and put them in the middle of the table and spruced it up a bit. I did find two of my pumpkins on clearance for $6 and $7 and that added something kind of nice to it. I have plenty of little decorations I could put on the table to make it look pretty. You could throw in some leaf garland or some floral picks and it would make it look more fall-ish. If you don’t have any fall decorations you could hit up Hobby Lobby or any decor store and grab a few pieces to make it look fantastic!
So the table is set and decorated but now you have to make all the food and it all has to be ready on time??? WHAT??? HOW? Well it can be easier than you think, don’t over stress about this. Here is one way…if you’re inviting guests ask them to bring a side, or a family dish that everyone loves. People looove to help so giving them an assignment makes their day AND yours! Less for you to do, yay!!!! If you’re not inviting anyone else over besides you’re cute little family make things ahead of time that can be. Salads, rolls, and drinks can be made ahead of time. While the turkey and ham is cooking make the yams, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Here is a reminder: things can be heated up! It’s okay to zap things in the microwave before serving them. Sometimes that’s just what you have to do. If you have a double oven throw them in there to keep the heat in or make something ahead of time and store it in the microwave to keep warm. Utilize a crockpot and serve your potatoes in there and they can be kept warm. A hot thanksgiving dinner is possible.
My biggest reminder for the holidays is DON’T OVER DO IT. Don’t make this a day to hate! This holiday is a day to show gratitude and be grateful for all we’ve been given. Let’s make it a day to remember. Take pictures and reflect on all of your efforts and the smiles on peoples faces. I always pray extra hard that I won’t let the silly things get to me to cause drama when having anyone over. Hosting is stressful-you’re the one in charge of peoples entertainment, food and fun and it can be wearing but try to enjoy it yourself and it will be more enjoyable for everyone! You all are the greatest and I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving day!!