As Halloween officially ushers in the Holiday Season it also opens the floodgates for me at Chief 187 Chatter. For those of you long time Chatter readers, you know that from November through New Year’s I offer a veritable treasure trove of hints, recipes, suggestions,
gift ideas, and party plans. From Thanksgiving menu ideas and games to Christmas traditions from around the world and to New Year’s song lists, I provide a plethora of information. Recycling is the sign of a truly smart and practical mind so you Chatter readers from last holiday season will be familiar with some of these ideas, repackaged for 2011. For the rest of you, sit back, relax, and plan to read daily for the world’s (yes, I said world’s) best Holiday Help on the Internet!
It’s time, if you haven’t already, to find out where you are going for Thanksgiving. Going to a friend or family member’s house? Find out what you are bringing, a dish as well as a hostess gift. Nowhere to go? Make reservations at a good restaurant before they are booked. Cooking yourself? Plan your menu now. It may seem weeks and weeks away, but Thanksgiving is a very important meal and holiday. The focus is entirely on the spread and the family and friends at the table. Sure football is on in the background and the newspaper chock full of flyers is beckoning for your holiday money, but family and food is truly the order of the day.
If you are entertaining make a final headcount and make sure you have enough chairs and table space for everyone as well as dishes, glassware, and flatware. It need not be the best china, lead crystal, and sterling silver, but it needs to be enough for everyone. Don’t spread yourself thin; if you are not a gourmet cook, keep it simple. Take help where you can be it from your guests who should all be assigned a dish to bring, the grocery store, or the nearest KFC for your mashed potatoes! Check recipe books, magazines, websites and, of course, Chief 187 Chatter on Tantalizing Thursdays for great menus and recipes for the big day. And try to remember that most people prefer the canned cranberries to homemade relish so don’t knock yourself out too much!
Will you be the guest at someone’s home? Call now and say, “I am bringing something, what would you like it to be?” Don’t give your host an opportunity to say, “Nothing”. If they do say that, ask what wine they prefer drinking or if they could use a box of candy. Be relentless as it is always better to come with something useful to your hosts than some huge bouquet of flowers that requires a ton of attention when the bird is more pressing. In fact, don’t bring flowers. Yes they are beautiful and luxurious, but they also may not be welcomed because of allergies, color schemes, room and/or various other reasons. At least wine or a box of chocolates can be regifted easily and quickly by your host if they were not to like it, but most will happily serve it that night.
Going to a restaurant for the big meal? Consider getting a small turkey from the grocery store to have at home. Is there anything sadder than not having turkey sandwiches on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday?! Be sure to have on hand your favorite bread or rolls, some mayo or Miracle Whip, and other favorite condiments. The post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich is a gastronomic Simple Joy that should never be missed, even if you eat out on Thanksgiving Day.
The most important part of this or any holiday is giving thanks for all we have. We may not have much; we may want for more, but the fact that we can count our blessings and be thankful for all we do have makes us a truly great people. Thanksgiving is one of my all-time favorite Simple Joys and hopefully can be/continues to be one for you, too.
Please join me tomorrow for Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187 Chatter.