Last Minute Creative Advice for a Great ThanksgivingSo Thanksgiving is only 3 days away and if you are like me, you have procrastinated it until the bitter end. I actually am usually great at planning ahead of time when it comes to the holidays. That's how I manage to get my posts up and hopefully inspire somebody out there in this weird world of cyber buddies. Anyhow, I have done a terrible job and
1. be thankful. At the end of all of the panic, stress, and triptafan; this holiday is about being grateful for what we have and so as long as you think about that, even a burnt turkey, without mashed potatoes and no stuffing whatsoever will still be a success be cause you chose to show thanks.
2. use what you have. find decor you have around the house. lets see...construction paper? great! cut out turkey feathers and glue them to paper cups. pinecones in the backyard? perfect! place them around the table or one on each plate for a fun rustic look, or maybe do you have paper bags? well what about making a paper bag place setting. take a look at the paper bag silverware holder I made.
3. make a list. lists make me happy, they bring me joy because everything is organized and less stressful. If you wait until thursday afternoon to make a list and you are leaving for grandma's in 5 minutes, believe me...you will forget something. start writing it down now and make a list of all the things you need to get at the store, take to thanksgiving, set up at home, decorate with, wash so it's ready to be used...etc. the list topics are probably endless, just make it simple for you.
4. wear it. you don't just have to be festive on the tables. their are so many fabulous ideas out there for turkey day clothes, kid dress ups, and easy to make paper hats. Here is pinterest's page for "Thanksgiving Dress"
5. new traditions can be FUN. I know we all love our turkey and mashed potatoes and some of us have a sentimental need for them. I mean truly, Their are those people (you know who you are) that if their thanksgiving dinner did not have these two items they would probably start soft sobbing which would eventually turn into a violent panic attack but trust me! it will be okay. Mix it up, add some new recipes and even mix some of the old with the new. You can also do something fun like family football, or go to the movies, maybe play a game...It's important to grow and change traditions so that they stay relevant and exciting. See my post on a Non Traditional Thanksgiving
6. less is more. If their is one thing I have learned about party planning, holidays, and life....minimal is wonderful and it also looks great! If you go overboard, you are going to spend too much money, be too stressed to enjoy any part of the day, and you will probably not get everything done you had hoped for. Stick to your plan and don't budge. Get the few things you have planned for and forget the over the top stuff..
7. assign tasks. Let others help. This is something that I struggle with. I am a bit of a control freak and I have a hard time letting others do stuff. That's not to mean, I'm a perfectionist..I'm not but I want things to look good and I sometimes feel like I can't count on others to bring what they said and I like to have things planned and accounted for. Unfortunately, what I have realized is that while everyone looks perfect when I do it all by myself, I do not enjoy any of it and don't get to have a good day. I am focused on cooking, decorating, organizing, cleaning, hosting, etc. and have not time for fun. This is THANKSGIVING, meaning it doesn't matter what the table cloth looks like or how the yams taste, it's about giving thanks and spending time with family. LET OTHERS HELP.
8. get it catered. If you read #5 and were annoyed with my thoughts, you probably won't like this one either but I know many families who opt out of a traditional thanksgiving dinner and instead choose a stress fee chinese take out option or delivery pizza and love it. I also know some families who buy turkey dinners at nearby restaurants or pick up a thanksgiving dinner and eat it at home. My thoughts are, whatever makes you happy is the way to go. I can definitely understand the need for a stress free holiday and well, we all know the food is where the stress lies on thanksgiving. I also should mention I have never not had a traditional thanksgiving. Every year, my family makes the turkey, the mashed potatoes, the cranberry sauce, etc. and it's a wonderful day...I just think what works for one person, doesn't work for the next. let it work for you.
9. paper plates or china? this answer will go a long with the vibe of this entire post but I think it's what works for you. You should think about whether you are willing to do all of those dishes after and if you are, well then put out the china but if you have other plans after dinner or just hate the idea of so many dishes, feel free to pass up those nice goblets and adorable serveware. I will be serving china for the adults, and paper plates for the kids. Decide based on your decor as well. If you are doing something that is pretty casual, paper plates will probably look better but if you are doing something really formal with flowers and candles; china might look better.
10. choose a color palette. If you choose your color palette for thanksgiving, it will be much easier to set up the table and find decor that works. Choose a few similar colors (like yellow and orange) or very high contrast colors (like green and red) and try to match up the serving dishes,
11. white is my best friend. I have found that the best idea for saving money during the holidays and parties is to purchase a reusable white table cloth, white cloth napkins, white and glass vases, jars, and plates, and simple serving dishes that are also white, silver, or glass. These colors go with every party and every detail so then you can choose a theme and buy a few colorful detailed items each holiday to decorate with but you are not buying expensive tablecloths over and over again or fun festive dishes that are hard to store. stick with white and simple.
12. be personal. adding personal touches to a holiday, especially thanksgiving can make it really hit home. Adding personal framed photos on the table, activities after you eat that you can share and enjoy together, and also sharing memories with everyone is a perfect way to celebrate thanksgiving.
13. football. football is a part of thanksgiving whether you like it or not. Many guys (and girls too!) end up spending hours watching football during the holiday and also many take part in a fun game of tackle outside. Instead of fighting it, why not embrace the game and add a little festive competition in your thanksgiving dinner, or activities. You could definitely play a traditional outdoor game in the backyard but you could also offer some football appetizers. check out pinterest's search for "football appetizers"