The Ultimate Thanksgiving Survival Guide

Atlanta Eats | Mom Thyme


After packing away the last of our Halloween decorations and hearing Jingle Bells on the radio this past weekend (yes, the Christmas music’s already begun!), it quickly hit me that Thanksgiving’s going to be here before we know it! Between carpool, sports practices, work, and everything else a busy mom has on her “to-do” list, many of us wait until just a few days before Thanksgiving to start planning for the big day. The result? We’re tired, stressed out, and are most thankful for the moment that the day is done!   

To avoid that this year, I’ve devised a Thanksgiving survival plan that addresses the five major questions every mom should ask herself (and, be able to answer!) a few weeks prior to the big day:

Who All is Coming to Dinner?  Will it just be immediate family/close friends or are you going to invite every cousin within a 50 mile radius? This is a critical question because you’ve got to know the number of guests you’ll have before you can even begin making any major decisions.

What’s On the Menu and What Can I Outsource?  Do you cringe at the thought of being responsible for the Thanksgiving Turkey or Ham (will it be too dry or undercooked)? Well, let your favorite restaurant or neighborhood market do the cooking for you! This will clear out any needed oven space on Thanksgiving Day and allow you to concentrate on other important things like your family’s most beloved side dishes and your guests. Just do a quick internet search to find out what restaurants/markets in your area are offering this Thanksgiving.  

What Can I Delegate?  Does your Aunt Martha make the most mouth-watering Pumpkin Cheesecakes and Bourbon Pecan Pies?  Or, is your Cousin Al a wine connoisseur who always enjoys sharing a few of his favorite bottles from his extensive collection? If so, ask them to contribute to the Thanksgiving meal! They’ll feel like superstars since you asked them to help (note to self, be sure to brag about their desserts or choices in wine) and it’ll take some of the workload off of you!

Do I Have Enough Dishes, Silverware, Serving Platters? There’s nothing worse than scrambling around on the big day looking for your grandmother’s gravy boat only to later find out that it was accidentally broken by your husband last Christmas. If you need extra dishes, glasses, serving platters, etc., renting them is always a great option! It’s surprisingly inexpensive, doesn’t take up extra storage space in your house, and, you simply box everything back up and return it when dinner’s done!

And finally, for those who enjoy taking the family out for Thanksgiving dinner…

Have I Made Our Reservation? If you’ve decided not to cook this Thanksgiving, you need to make your reservations now! If not, it’s likely you’ll find yourself eating Thanksgiving Dinner at 3:15 p.m. or 10:45 p.m., not exactly the “prime time” for Thanksgiving Dinner. Trust me on this, the early bird making the reservation gets the worm here!

I hope this list helps you out when planning your Thanksgiving this year (making it much smoother and less stressful!). Atlanta Eats readers, let me know, what are your top tips for hosting Thanksgiving dinner?


Photo courtesy of www.butterball.com

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