How to Plan a Family-Friendly Thanksgiving Dinner

After summer fades into fall, the heat melts away to reveal apple-colored leaves, swimsuits are swapped out for jackets and warm hats, and life becomes a slippery slope leading quickly to the holiday season.

Here are some simple tips to get you and your family ready to host Thanksgiving dinner. You will be ready to make the most of this special time of the year with your loved ones, and you can apply these tips to other holidays this season.

More Than One Chef in the Kitchen

If you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner, you may feel a little overwhelmed. Instead of stressing out over getting everything done yourself, find ways to make hosting a little easier. For example, you can make dinner a potluck and share the cooking responsibilities with your guests. This way, you can share all of your homemade recipes and maybe find a new favorite dish.

You can also divide the hosting responsibilities among your family or guests, and you will all be able to share a little of the work while avoiding any unnecessary stress. After all, the holidays are about spending time together, not about producing the perfect event.

Natural Papa also recommends letting your kids join in on the meal preparations. Even the little ones can help by making simple platters, like building a turkey out of vegetables. Depending on their age, your kids are likely more than happy to help you. If they are able to, you can have them assist you with some easier recipes, especially those that don’t require ovens, like a chocolate fridge cake. This way, your kids will feel included and appreciate dinner more.

A Season to Remember

Thanksgiving is more than planning a holiday dinner — it’s about being thankful and helping others. Get your family into the Thanksgiving spirit by engaging in family thankfulness activities, like volunteering as a family or writing thankful letters. This will help your kids empathize with others and be more mindful about what they have, as well as provide meaningful experiences for them to remember.

While you are making memories and being thankful, you might want to take a few pictures to look back on and share with friends and family. However, with the rise of smartphones and social media to take and document your photos, nobody thinks to make scrap books anymore, and taking pictures from an actual camera is increasingly rare. However, there are benefits to picking up a camera instead of your phone to document your memories. Not only will it help everyone stay off their phones and stay in the moment, but it can make memories last longer.

According to photography experts at Artifact Uprising, physical copies of photos can last longer than their digital counterparts. If you don’t have a camera in your house other than the one on your phone, you can get a few disposable cameras and let everyone take pictures throughout the evening. If you’d rather not be wasteful, you can use your phone cameras and print out the pictures later.

Remember to teach your kids that the holidays are not a time for gifts or overindulgence, but a time to celebrate with each other and appreciate life. Stay safe on your holiday travels, whether you are driving to visit family or simply taking on dangerous wintry roads to get to the grocery store. By keeping these tips in mind, you will be able to truly enjoy the holiday season!

By Brooke Faulkner, Image via Pixabay

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