Your Thanksgiving plans may involve a crowded house full of chatty family members. Or maybe you honor this holiday in a quiet setting with a few close friends. No matter how you celebrate, it’s a cherished time to come together with loved ones over a meal and reflect on the blessings of the past year.
What are you thankful for? We’re thankful for you – our loyal readers! To help make your event memorable and stress-free, we’ve put together our best advice.
1. Plan your menu ahead of time.
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, scrambling in a hot kitchen for the final ingredients to finish your feast while guests start to arrive is probably not how you envision the evening starting. Avoid stress with a little planning and organization ahead of time:
- How to cook a turkey: from start to finish, this explains everything you need to know about how to cook a turkey.
- For guests that are vegetarians: it’s a good idea to have some vegetarian friendly dishes that everyone will enjoy. Read these tips to learn about hosting for different dining habits.
- Savour the harvest: root vegetables and winter squash are in season. Add one of these dishes to your table to help guests get their daily 7-10 servings of fruit and veggies.
- Cranberry sauce: pick up some BC cranberries, try this Zesty Cranberry Sauce Recipe and get more ideas for adding cranberries to your fall menu.
- Stuffing: some families have recipes that have been passed down through generations, but try these ideas if you want to switch things up this year.
2. Avoid awkward silences. Get guests moving!
Ever attend a Thanksgiving dinner where you didn’t know anybody? Or sat in a silent living room trying to make small talk with a distant relative you haven’t seen in years? If guest are showing up early, consider organizing an activity to help break the ice. Plus, what better way to work up an appetite than with a bit of physical activity! Some ideas:
- Play a game: embrace your childish side. If the weather is decent, get everyone (kids and adults!) outside for a game of hide and seek. Or try a game of sardines in the basement?
- Go skating: if time permits, plan for guests to hit the local rink for some public ice skating before dinner.
- Take a hike: especially if guests are coming in from out of town, this can be a great time to explore the local scenery.
3. Keep it classy.
Alcohol is no stranger to many Thanksgiving dinners. Having a few drinks may help some unwind, make socializing easier, and add to the celebratory nature of the event. Remember to drink in moderation and follow the Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines. Modelling low-risk drinking habits shows kids what responsible use looks like – it’s about enjoying the benefits of alcohol while avoiding harms to yourself, your family, and others. Here are tips on setting a good example for kids.
4. Walk it off.
The aftermath of the feast doesn’t have to involve a group nap in front of the TV. Instead, round everyone up for a walk around the block. Whether for five minutes or an hour, getting moving in the fresh air will help refresh the crowd. Check out WalkBC for walking routes and more information on this beneficial exercise.
5. Use all of the Left overs.
When all is send and done, the refrigerator may be packed full of leftovers. Luckily, there are lots of interesting and appealing ways to reinvent your turkey. Read these ideas or try one of these recipes:
- Turkey Tortellini Soup: this tasty take on turkey soup is a welcome warm meal after being out in cold weather.
- Thai Turkey Stir Fry: a great introduction to Thai cuisine and delicious venture from your regular turkey sandwich.