Having enough of the right food is one of the biggest headaches of a successful Thanksgiving meal. Take a step back and allow family members to bring the quintessential covered dishes. Remember that Thanksgiving meals should celebrate family and not stress you out. Contact family members a month or two before Thanksgiving and give them the leeway to being a dish that they've mastered. Distribute the list of who is bringing what to the dinner table. Relinquish control and let family members decide amongst themselves what will be brought to your home.
Simplicity! You don't have to "wow" the crowd with your table setting presentation. A simple white table cloth with a few colorful fall leaves scattered in the middle can bring the beauty of fall into your dining room. For a centerpiece, place a pumpkin or gourd in the center of the table surrounded by loose leaves. To create the ambiance of fall, set a small pot of simmering water laced with a teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove with a splash of vanilla extract. The subtle scent of autumn will float gently through the house and will disguise other strong odors of aromatic foods.
Place settings can also be a hassle. Minimize the headache by allowing family members to sit where they want to, instead of having assigned seating. This will also quell the constant chorus of "pass the potatoes" that always interrupts the meal.
In most families, the patriarch carves the turkey. This time honored tradition can lead to a massacred carcass that leaves only specks of meat that have to be congregated to make up a serving. Politely suggest the honored guest to watch a video of a professional server carving a turkey prior to the meal. Provide the proper tools and make sure the knife is sharp enough to tackle the job. This will provide a much pleasant experience in the old custom of carving the turkey.
Use your imagination and relinquish a little control over the dinner. Not only will this reduce the amount of headaches associated with any large family gathering, but it could possibly even bring the family a little closer together. Enjoy Thanksgiving meals with your family and cherish the short moments that you spend with your loved ones.
Alyssa DeAlto holds a B.A in Journalism and currently writes for eDrugstore.MD, a safe online facilitator for Viagra online and other safe FDA-approved medications such as Propecia for hair loss. Alyssa uses her journalism skills to cover big pharma news she shares on the eDrugstore.MD Health Blog.