Now that I live in Toronto it’s time for me to start a new tradition by celebrating Thanksgiving! I am having my family over and we will have a fall-themed food and, of course, the turkey. Here some trick I am going to use to make the preparations simpler!
Plan in advance how many people you will have over
My first tip: someone will always get upset, so when you are planning your guest list don’t try to make everyone happy. Invite people that have things in common and consider the budget and space you have! In Italian we say “Meglio pochi ma buoni” (literally better few but good; it’s the quality that counts more than the quantity).
The problem with family gatherings is that on the same day people may go to different events and it becomes just a mess to balance everyone schedule. Invite people in advance and be careful about which word you are using. Instead of: “I would love you to come…are you free?” just explain “ I have a family/friends gathering and EVERYONE is coming at this time”.
In this way, the other person will know that your schedule is already set and other people plan is already made. You are saving yourself the headaches and mess of keep changing your plans accordingly to everyone else.
About the decorations
I don’t like teamed tablecloth, they can be really cute but they can also make your table look messy really easily. A simple tablecloth and mono-color plates give you the freedom to vary your theme with small decorations that you can change for the occasion and it will make your table look more classy.
About the decorations remember: more is never better! Consider your theme and the quantity of food that you will have on the table before buying decorations. What I usually do in the first place it’s scratching on a piece of paper how the table will look: I start with the “basics” such as plates, cutlery, glasses…then I will add the dishes that I will serve. Only at the end, I will consider the decorations that I am going to put.
Write down your menu BEFORE inviting people
This tip is something that has really simplified my life!
Plan your menu before inviting people, even before just talking about the idea of an invitation!
The great thing about family is that everyone wants to help so why not use it?
I usually write down a list of foods and beverages that I am planning on serving that day and put the guest list near it. At this point, I just put 2 or 3 options near each guest.
In this way when people ask how to help just suggest what’s on your list like: “I LOVE your apple pie (or whatever) can you make it for that day?”/ “I talked so much about the sauce you made the last time I know people want to try it!”.
Tea is always a good idea!
Never underestimate the power of a good cup of tea! It’s fall and the weather is getting cold. Here in Toronto, you can fell the winter coming. The best way to welcome your guests it’s with a hot cup of tea. They can warm up and relax waiting for the food to be served. Without spending money you can create a good atmosphere and homey feeling.
Make something for them to remember the day.
I like the idea of giving something small to the guests to take home…and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am writing down what I am thankful to them. It’s a good way to make them know how special they are. At the same time, it’s a good reminder for me to be thankful to have such amazing people in my life! Having people over can be stressful. Instead, we should work on it and make it simply exciting!