Top 5 Tips for an Awesome Thanksgiving by a very organized maximizer who loves you (and wishes she had mentioned last week that it was time to start eating the leftovers and clearing out the fridge for the bounty of Thanksgiving week).
1. Shop at the CRACK OF DAWN!
If you were fool enough to go shopping yesterday or the day before, this is me laughing at you. This is me laughing at you as you muscle your way through a sea of shopping carts trying to find the most acceptable acorn squash of the 4 rejects still in the bin and then trying to figure out a good substitute for sage since that’s all long gone now.
Now it’s your turn to laugh at me as I got up early this morning and went to Wegman’s at 6am. Six of the clock. I never do that except at Thanksgiving and Christmastime. You know why? Because grocery stores restock overnight, and nobody is there that early except you in your flourescent pink flats blithely filling your cart with the best of everything. See you there tomorrow. (While you’re there, buy more butter and eggs than you think you will need. Trust me.)
2. Do it now.
You can’t make mashed potatoes ahead of time. I mean, technically you can, if you, say, suck at this, but don’t. Make the potatoes right before serving time. But you can make the pies. You can make pumpkin cheesecake. You can iron the tablecloths. You can wash the china and stemware. You can set the table. You can make placecards. You can make cranberry relish. You can brine the turkey, or make the herb butter. Go through your entire menu and do anything you can ahead of time. Start today! And if you’re looking for my recipes, you can find them here. Contact me with questions.
3. Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children?
My kids hate Thanksgiving food. I don’t have enough eyes to roll over how little respect they give to my incredible Turkey and Gravy. I, on the other hand, love Thanksgiving food, and I want to eat it without my kids ruining the experience for me. Can’t talk. Eating. Parent yourselves. So I’m planning not only on making the mac&cheese that I know they will eat, but also creating a slamming kids’ table with crafts and games. I did this last year for the first time and it shot the Thanksgiving enjoyment through the roof for everyone. Email me for a copy of this Kids’ Table Activity Book 2015. Don’t be shy. Some of you already have.
4. Put Away, Throw Away, Load, Wash!
Chant it with me! Put away, Throw away, Load, Wash! This is advice I have given before in detail, but it is one of the most useful methodologies I employ in my home. When it’s time to clean up, don’t get overwhelmed. Take it one step at a time. And that first step is not to grab a dish and start washing! Start by putting away all the food that needs to be refrigerated, then all the ingredients and tools you may have left out. Then throw away every single bit of trash. Now load the dishwasher. Okay, you can start washing things now.
5. Black Friday
Don’t go. If you are the kind of person who goes to Disneyland on holiday weekends or Saturdays in the summer because the crowds give you a sense of occasion, then you can go. If you are a rational creature who isn’t filled with self-loathing, stay home. The internet has obliterated almost all the really good deals of Black Friday. It’s fake. You can get the same deal at home on your computer.
If you insist on going, still don’t go. Here’s what I do. Tomorrow, I’m going to the Disney store and Janie & Jack, etc. where I will buy everything that I want for Black Friday. Then early on Friday morning while the sale is still going on (usually till 7 or 9), I will take everything with my receipts back to the mall and have a bleery-eyed cashier price change everything to the sale price. This way I get every princess dress and Downton Abbey cap for little boys in precisely the size I want, not “the closest thing they had left.” You’re welcome.
Update: I went shopping yesterday and many if not most of the stores in the mall already had their Black Friday deals on. So I won’t have to go to the Disneystore Friday morning after all.
For Black Friday, ask Todd Ethington what the cool gift is this year. He’s a total genius of finding the good deal on Amazon. Don’t you wish you had friends like mine?
Pluck your eyebrows and get your hair and your children’s hair cut this week. You will be in pictures.
The trains at the Botanic Gardens are amazing and not crowded on Thanksgiving day!
Please feel free to add tips to this list. Queue them up!