Thankful Thanksgiving :: Simplifying Holiday Hosting

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Thanksgiving Dinner

When I think about Thanksgiving, fragrant smells from the kitchen, the sounds of children’s playful voices, and the warmth of sweaters and fireplaces come to mind. Growing up, the nostalgia surrounding the holidays was different than it is as an adult. Now we are preparing the food and warm homes for our families, extended families, and friends. Hosting Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time to spend with our loved ones, while also filling their bellies with home cooked meals!

Hosting Thanksgiving does not have to be time consuming, nor does it have to break the bank. Here are a few ways to make hosting Thanksgiving more simple.

Thankful Thanksgiving :: Simplifying Hosting

Seasonal produce is cheaper.

Apples, pumpkins, squashes, nuts . . . try incorporating these items into your menu!

Buy as much as you can ahead of time.

Other than fresh ingredients, most of your menu items can be bought ahead of time.  This will help with early food preparations, and your items are more likely to still be available. Want to simplify even more? Arrange for a grocery pick up or drop off the weekend before, and save the last-minute items for early in the week.

Don’t be afraid to make items from scratch.

homemade apple pieMaking items from scratch is definitely cheaper than buying prepared items. Here is an easy apple pie recipe my family LOVES. Because I usually don’t have time to make the crust from scratch, I buy it! One bit of advice regarding scratch cooking . . . no new recipes! If you have been eyeing a new recipe you want to try, make sure you have time to taste-test or have a trial run beforehand. Lastly, if there are items on your menu you can make ahead time, like pies or casseroles, this will cut down the amount of prep you have to do on Thanksgiving Day.

Have guests bring side items.

My husband loves to joke and tell people that I am very good at delegating. I learned long ago that hosting doesn’t mean you have to do EVERYTHING. Most of your guests will want to help, and this gives you more time to enjoy the people around you! I also love trying other people’s food that they made (or bought) with love!

Decorate simply and “nature-ally”.Thanksgiving Decor

I LOVE cloth napkins because you can throw them in the washer and use them again! Do you still have pumpkins lying around from Halloween? Pumpkins can be spruced up with ‘nature’-al items from your back yard. Leaves, pine cones, and acorns would make the perfect addition to your dining room table.

Plan for left overs.

I love how my mom and aunt always send me home with leftovers when we leave family events. Make sure and plan ahead for your guests by taking a trip to the dollar store and buying reusable containers. This is a great way for your guests to help with cleaning AND they don’t have to worry about remembering to give your containers back!

Hosting Thanksgiving does not have to be a stressful ordeal. Simplifying hosting and letting others share in the preparations is a great way to not only enjoy their company but also the meal together!

The post was originally published on November 3, 2019.
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After being away for the last 8 years, Chelsea and her family have returned home! Chelsea and her husband, Justin, both grew up in Hoover, Alabama. She went to college at UAB where she studied Early Childhood/ Elementary Education. Soon after college, Chelsea married her high school sweetheart and moved to a small town in Tennessee where her husband pursed his calling to become a doctor. After Medical School, their family moved to Jackson, Mississippi where Justin finished his Residency in OBGYN. Now, Chelsea stays at home with their 3 kids- Reese (6), Hampton (4), and Caroline (2), all while running a mosquito control business from home! Being in this new stage of life with 3 kids and managing a business from home, has its challenges but she is starting to get a wrangle on the new normal. When she is not answering the phones, being a kid taxi driver, or cooking for her family of 5, she enjoys reading and vacations with her family.

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