November 14, 2014

Preparing for the Upcoming Holidays

What a crazy and exciting time of year!  Don't you feel like you are bouncing all over the place in preparation for the upcoming holidays?

Here are a few ideas and links that work for me and might also make your life a bit more organized for all the festivities!


We host between 20-25 family members for Thanksgiving every year and for the past couple of years I have been sending Evites.  It might sound kind of impersonal but for our family, these invitations work the best.  I always cook the main dishes but several people always chip in with desserts, side dishes, etc.  With the Evites, they can specify what dish they will bring right in the response.  So easy and convenient for everybody...

Here are some of the Thanksgiving choices on Evite.com.
Many of the invitations are free and are so easy to use!
(No, I am not being compensated in any way to mention them!)

I already sent my Thanksgiving Evite invitation for this year but now that I am thinking of it, I should have added my disclaimer that "I am not responsible for any dishes or utensils left at my house after Thanksgiving is over!"

I am the absolute worst when it comes to returning dishes.  My family always thinks they are doing me a favor when they say, " Oh don't worry about it, I'll pick it up next time I see you."  Well, let me tell you, if you leave a dish behind at my house you are never going to see it again!  I start out with good intentions of setting the dish aside with a sticky note on it.  It goes into a cabinet and then if I am lucky enough to remember to bring it out when that person comes over, the person always says, "Oh, that's not mine."  So then I end up with various dishes that no one ever remembers owning and then these mystery dishes makes their way to the basement and disappear into a black hole never to be seen again!

Sure, if I were a better hostess, I would personally deliver the dishes back to the rightful owners myself but with my luck, I would still hear, "Oh, that's not mine" anyway!  So basically, if you come with a dish, you leave with it, period!  Really makes you want to come to Thanksgiving at my house, doesn't it?....

Anyway... another preparation I make for Thanksgiving involves ordering a fresh turkey.  With our massive crowd, I can't take a chance on randomly finding the right sized turkey sitting in the store, so I always put my name on the list at my local grocery store for a 26-28 pound turkey.  I know, huge - right?  But it makes things easier because I know I will be able to get one large enough.  I always buy fresh, not frozen because thawing out the turkey just adds extra steps to my whole Thanksgiving process.  I've done this for some many years, that I have a good system I don't want to mess with!

This past year, I have started using a Grocery Store app to organize my lists.  This helps so much because I just add an item to my phone every time I think of it and I can also check them off as I buy them!  The only bad thing is, I look like I am walking around texting while shopping.  So if you see me in the store, I am checking off items on my list - not texting!

I like to get as much done in advance and one thing I always need to do is polish my silver.  I don't like to use harsh chemicals so I go with a more natural approach...
There are a few "recipes" for doing this, 
but here is the one I use every year:

I always have a few standard recipes to fall back on.  Actually, who am I kidding?  I basically make the same recipes each year because the family expects Thanksgiving to be a certain way.  I would destroy our traditions if I changed the menu too much!
But it is always nice to use recipes passed down in the family.

I haven't even thought about how I am decorating the tables this year but if you want to see some of my past Thanksgiving and fall tables, click on the links below:

Turkey for Ten
Country Thanksgiving for Four
Fall Table for Four
Fall Table Setting
Black and White Fall Table
Fall Table Setting with Apples

And we all know that as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over, we will be jumping into those December holidays!

If you want to make sure your kids (and you) don't miss those favorite holiday specials on TV, here is the schedule for ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas.

Chip and Co - ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas

I don't know about you, but I  must see The Year Without A Santa Claus every single year or Christmas is just not the same for me!  That Heatmiser cracks me up every time!  ..."Because he's too much...da da da da...daaaaaaaaaaaaa...da!..."


So hopefully, these little tips I use can help you out in some way.
How are you preparing for the holidays?

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4 comments:

  1. I so enjoyed this post as it is giving me the motivation to "get to it"!

    Have a beautiful week!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks beautiful your table centre-piece! Hugs. Monika

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gorgeous and you are definitely organized for the big day. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

    ReplyDelete

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