Thanksgiving is drifting through the crisp North Carolina mountain air, bringing warm hearths, rich smells, and the promise of bounty to our homes on Lake Nantahala. Jack O’ Lanterns have given way to pumpkin pies, and Halloween spooks are quickly shifting into a new holiday spirit. As much as the holidays are about comfort and blessings, holiday planning is often as stressful as the celebration is rewarding. With just a few weeks until turkeys, stuffing, and pies, it’s time to assess your holiday checklist so you’re prepared for the Thanksgiving festivities.
The final flourish of the fall season is Thanksgiving dinner. Many families prepare the same traditional dinner every year, but your menu may change based on personal preference, your guest list, or dietary restrictions. Jot down a rudimentary list of family, friends, and neighbors attending your Thanksgiving dinner. Do your new Reflection neighbors have food allergies? Has your college student discovered a Thanksgiving recipe from their roommate? Do you have enough plates and silverware for all your guests? Plan your menu and buy nonperishable food before the holiday madness. You’ll enjoy cooking more if you’re not worried about last-minute grocery runs. Crack a window to let the brisk Nantahala air mingle with the warm fall spices of your kitchen and enjoy the tapestry of red, orange, and gold foliage gracing our North Carolina mountain home.
Few things in life are as rewarding and demanding as overnight guests around the holidays. Whether you have kids visiting for the week or aunts, uncles, and cousins staying for a few days, preparing your home for guests and Thanksgiving is a two-person job. Prepare your table displays and front porch decorations now to save time and energy the week of Thanksgiving. If you’re in charge of the Thanksgiving menu, put your husband or teenagers in charge of food for the rest of the week. Give each member of the family a checklist of tasks to accomplish before the relatives come knocking. By delegating and supervising pre-Thanksgiving cleaning, washing, and decorating, you can keep yourself from getting overwhelmed and keep the family out of the kitchen.