Things I Wish I Knew Before Cooking My First Thanksgiving

Last year, we found ourselves scrambling to make Thanksgiving plans amidst a global pandemic. Unable to gather with local family and unable to travel to out of state family, we decided to host our very own Thanksgiving celebration at home for the four of us.

While I am a decent cook, I’m not a chef. I’m far from it. No one at my house is going to go hungry, but I’m not used to cooking large holiday feasts.

Dinner turned out well, and it tasted great, but there are still a few things I would like to share to make your life easier.

1. Plan ahead!

Do as much as you can ahead of time. Plan your meal in advance. Make your shopping list early and buy the ingredients a week in advance- that way, you have plenty of time to make changes or pick up additional ingredients. If there are any dishes you can make a day early, do it. Save yourself some time and last minute planning.

2. Not everything has to be made from scratch.

Not everything tastes good premade but you can get away with using some canned or premade goods. Why not save yourself some time by using frozen yeast rolls or canned yams? If it works for you, and your family is happy, why does it matter?

3. Make sure you have extra cookware on hand

Most of us don’t typically use three or four pots at once to cook dinner, so a lot of us don’t have that many pots. Try to calculate when you will be cooking what so you can ensure you have enough pots before you get started. This way, you can borrow or purchase extras in advance.

4. Research unfamiliar recipes

Never cooked a turkey before? No problem! Just research the recipe that meets your needs! We are a busy family with small, picky children who won’t eat just anything. I searched for a few weeks before I found a turkey recipe I thought everyone in our family would enjoy!

5. And lastly, don’t stress over the small details

Your kids and your family aren’t going to remember whether everything is perfect- they are going to remember how much they enjoyed family dinners with their loved ones. Don’t stress on the small details- remember to relax and have a good time with your family.

Have a great week!!

An Organized Holiday:Christmas planning binder

An Organized Holiday:Christmas planning binder

christmasplanningbinder

Have you ever made lists for Christmas? Making lists is something most of us already do without even really thinking about it. But did you know you can create a binder to help you organize and simplify your Christmas season?

I keep a binder with a December calendar, shopping lists, recipes, grocery lists, address lists, and holiday to-do lists. I also include any pictures or magazine features I want to utilize. I use tab dividers to keep the binder organized and easier to use.

tabbed dividers
$4 at Staples

I used this cute, green polka dot binder to store my Christmas printables and goodies.

green_polka_dot_3_ring_binder-rb393dfe319b74603871c0775810254c8_xz8my_8byvr_540.jpg
$25 on Zazzle.com

I decided I’d share my handy printables with you all today. Below you will find recipe cards, holiday planning checklists, contact lists, and more. All are available to you for free, but you may not use them for commercial use.

Christmas checklist - Copy

Christmas checklist- BLANK

christmas party planning

Blank Christmas party planning template

Christmas Party Planner Sheet

Christmas party planner

Travel checklist

Traveling checklist

Christmas contacts - Copy

Christmas contacts

recipe card

recipe card

I hope your holiday season is off to a great start! Check back Friday and Saturday for some wonderful Christmas-related goodies!