As most busy moms know all too well, putting aside daily work and home responsibilities to clean and decorate the house and then shop for the turkey and trimmings for Thanksgiving is a feat, if not impossible. Instead, Moms’ already-full to do lists overflow with tasks in anticipation of the in-law arrival and 20-pound bird feast. How can one handle it all?
In order to get ready for Thanksgiving and still enjoy the holiday, you might want to consider some or all of the following tips.
1. Make a Detailed List, Then Check it Twice
In order to save your sanity and not have to run to the grocery store over and over the week of Thanksgiving, sit down with your recipes and make a super detailed list of everything you need to buy. Also, take note of which spices you need for the dishes—this will save you from a nightmarish trip to the supermarket on Thanksgiving morning for marjoram or cloves. Then, as Real Simple Solution Seekers suggests, divide the list into staples you can buy ahead of time (i.e. frozen French cut green beans for the casserole) and the things you want to pick up a day or two before (i.e. fresh pineapple that your father-in-law loves to cut for the fruit salad).
2. Ask Guests to Bring Something
When you invite guests to join you for Thanksgiving, they usually respond with a “Can I bring anything?” This year, happily accept the offer and refer to your detailed list for something you still need to check off. Remember: You are doing folks a huge favor by hosting Thanksgiving in your home, so asking them to bring along a nice bottle of wine, veggie tray or even just a bag of scrumptious rolls from the bakery is completely reasonable. To make sure you don’t ask five people to bring the same thing—not that there’s anything wrong with five pumpkin pies—keep a list of who is bringing what.
3. Make Decorations Easy
Let’s face it—the main highlight of Thanksgiving is the food. Of course, depending on your guests, it might also be the football games on TV. But unlike Christmas, which typically involves tons of decorations, you can get by with little or no Thanksgiving-related items. Make it easy on yourself and order a lovely Thanksgiving centerpiece for the table from an online retailer like FTD and have it delivered right to your door to leave you more time to get the kids (and yourself!) ready.
4. Hire a Housecleaning Crew
Thanksgiving is a time when we are supposed to be thankful. One thing that you can definitely be thankful for is the ability to hire a crew of housekeepers to scrub your toilets and mop your floors for the event. If you are not sure of who to hire, check out Angie’s List for local recommendations, or you can ask your friends if they have suggestions. One word of advice—you are probably not the only busy mom who would rather focus on food rather than cleaning, so book your cleaning service as far ahead of time as you can.