Millions of men and women before you have successfully hosted Thanksgiving, so why should you and your spouse be any different? The Thanksgiving meal is feared nearly as much as it is enjoyed each year. After all, the many side dishes that come together with the giant bird require a lot of organization and planning if they are to be prepared and served correctly. That certainly doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a try with hubby, but it does mean that you will want to create a game plan before you begin.
Deciding Who to Invite - One of the most difficult moments in every new marriage comes with deciding what should happen at the holidays. Whose family should be visited and when? How will the time be divided and who will be dined with? Having a dinner in your own home can help to avoid some of those uncomfortable moments, but you will still need to formulate a guest list that will likely be based on the amount of space you have for entertaining, the existing plans of loved ones, and the distance between you and them. Work together to draw up the best possible list as far in advance as you can, so you can give friends and family members ample time to re-arrange schedules. Have a fussy family or a few “difficult family members”? Consider a seating chart…so draw upon who sat by whom at your wedding and got along and arrange your table accordingly.
Planning a Menu – The great part about Thanksgiving is that most of the meal is dependent on tradition. Unfortunately, while is the common denominator, many families will vary substantially in the rest of their menus. But, with some work, you can make a meal that pulls a little something special from each family’s traditions and makes everyone feel comfortable, welcome, and ultimately, full. Also, think about asking each family invited to bring a favorite side or dessert. This potluck concept lowers your workload and allows family members to feel included in the meal.
Shopping and Cooking - There is good reason that the Thanksgiving meal is consumed only once per year. It often requires a huge number of ingredients, a lot of space for preparation, and a great deal of time to make it happen. Fortunately, there are two of you and that means that tasks can be divided among you to make the whole event much more manageable. Enjoy the shopping time together, getting excited about the impending meal and work together to divvy up the cooking. When it comes time to create, turn on some music that you both enjoy. Sing along, laugh together, and enjoy the special memories that are being made on your very first Thanksgiving. While one boils and mashes potatoes, another can be basting the turkey and chopping veggies for other dishes. With two sets of hands, what might be a very chaotic experience can be very enjoyable.
Here’s to you and your first Thanksgiving as a newlywed! Stay tuned to our newlywed blog for recipes and ideas to make your Thanksgiving AMAZING!