The date snuck up on me, and here we are with about 10 days left until Thanksgiving. And now All The Things are running through my mind.
-Is my roasting pan big enough, or do I need to buy that disposable metal pan this year?
-I need a menu and a grocery list.
-I’ve got to look up –again- how long does it take to defrost a turkey? And why do I still not know this? And then I always have to add an extra day because, even when I look it up, something seems off.
-What are everyone’s “must-haves” again? Because I want it to be special. Another list.
-Should I iron the tablecloth or would fluffing it in the dryer be fine? Where is the tablecloth?
-Who is coming home, when, and where should they sleep?
Suddenly everything feels fast and that the next 10 days or so will be lived at top speed until it comes to a culmination on Thanksgiving Day. So, today, I’m taking a minute to breathe.
I don’t have a list to simplify this (except for using a grocery pick-up service- you should do this) but I can say this- the state of our hearts matters more than getting the desserts right. If I get spun up and frantic over it all, I will be stressed and disappointed. I’ll come to the dinner table having run a marathon, out of breath, and too tired to enjoy any of it.
So, this week I’ll make a list of groceries and a few to-do’s. I’ll put a reminder in my phone to take the turkey out of the freezer. I’ll make a plan, but hold it loosely. I can’t control All The Things. This much I know- I want my heart tender and my eyes open. When Thanksgiving gets here, I want to come to the table thankful, not rushed or stressed.
So, I’m just taking some time to think it through and space out the work to help take the rush out of it. Maybe that’s one way to make this easier?
For those who are curious, here is my rough plan:
10 days out- Make the menu for the week, plus Thanksgiving day. Plan easy recipes for every day. Pop can cinnamon rolls are a perfectly acceptable breakfast
9 days out- consider weird dishes that might be needed and space
8 days out- find out when all of the big “kids” are actually coming home. Start adding things to my cart on the walmart grocery app. Don’t forget gallon ziplock bags are great for storing leftovers, especially in the freezer.
7 days out- clean out the pantry and the fridge for space. Make a note of surprise finds to use in recipes the week of Thanksgiving. Double-check for needed spices.
6 days out- find fun recipes for leftovers (any special ingredients needed?) I was thinking about that recipe for Thanksgiving Egg Rolls. Looks delicious!
5 days out- Clean the house. We have to at least dust before we decorate for Christmas (we do this the day after Thanksgiving). Find the tablecloth and cloth napkins
4 days out- take out the turkey (date may change, still have to look this up). Add the rest of the stuff to the online grocery app
3 days out- do grocery pick up. Be thankful for not needing to go into the store.
1 or 2 days out- make one more trip to the store for whatever was forgotten. Be brave and patient. Be kind to the cashier. Combine this errand with a trip to the coffee shop for a holiday drink to trick myself into the idea of this being fun.
Thanksgiving Day- Post menu on fridge, enlist help with cooking and cleaning. I take out pots, pans and serving bowls at the beginning and put little post-it notes in them to be sure of where everything will fit.
Cook. Have fun. Try not to freak out about everything being perfect. Breathe.
And finally, take a picture. Not because the table is so perfect, but because time is precious. Things change in a blink and you will never know what it is someone’s “last” Thanksgiving, or the last together as a group. This is what is important….let the rest slide.
Happy Thanksgiving friends!