Get Creative With Thanksgiving Leftovers

Don’t like seeing good food go to waste? As you peruse the online Black Friday deals from your screens, you can also plot out some inventive new ways to incorporate the remaining elements of yesterday’s bacchanale into your meal plan. Try a turkey chili or turkey enchilada, Taste of Home says, or a sweet potato pudding. Delish suggests mashed potato fritters, stuffing waffles or a pumpkin pie milkshake. And there is absolutely nothing at wrong with the classic roast turkey sandwich — with or without a schmear of horseradish cranberry relish or dollop of gravy. #ThanksgivingTips

The Easiest Thanksgiving Feasts

Small #Thanksgiving gatherings are an easy lift even at the last minute if you can adjust expectations. You can cook a turkey breast instead of a whole bird, says Ahead of Tyme, or serve a squash bisque that take minutes to prepare. The point is to feast and celebrate together, so include a few classic, seasonal ingredients on the menu and everyone should be satisfied. And if you want the easiest possible solution, dine out — many chains will be open on Thanksgiving and serving feasts, fancy or frugal. And who wouldn’t enjoy a good pizza? #ThankgivingTips

Outsource the Thanksgiving Sides

Hosting a Thanksgiving feast can be a monumental task. To ease the burden, do yourself a favor and have guests supply some dishes potluck-style. Allrecipes suggests handling the turkey and gravy yourself, so that the star of the show isn’t suddenly a no-show. Let your guests supply sides such as mashed potatoes, casseroles, salads, rolls (store-bought are fine), pie and beverages. Coordinate correctly, and you can concentrate on roasting the bird and any other specialties you want to make, as well as staging your table for a magical, filling feast. #ThanksgivingTips

Is Your Turkey Oven-Ready?

If you’re just getting started on your Thanksgiving feast, it’s already too late to thaw a frozen bird in the refrigerator. All is not lost if you can’t find a fresh one, though! Just submerge that packaged #turkey in ice water and check the water every 30 minutes to ensure that the temperature doesn’t rise above 40 degrees, Epicurious says. A 15-pound bird should be ready to go into the oven in about 8 hours. Use that time — and the 4+ hours’ roasting time — to make green bean casserole and a pumpkin pie, and your feast will be (nearly) complete! #ThanksgivingTips

Start Planning for the Holidays Now

The ongoing supply-chain issues that emerged after the #pandemic have many people wondering if their holiday plans will be upended for a second year in a row in spite of effective vaccines and loosened restrictions.

We at The Organizing Blog can’t predict whether all of the gifts you want to buy will be available, if there will be shortages of turkeys or if your flights will be cancelled. But it can’t hurt to plan ahead!

For example, you might want start shopping for gifts today. CNBC says that consumer demand will be high, while slowdowns at manufacturing facilities and ports of call worldwide will affect supplies of many of the things people want and need.

Think about what the people on your gift list might like starting now. If you can get the jump on buying those things, it will free up more time as the holidays draw near, keep you from stressing about gifts last-minute and spread the costs over several months.

Minted suggests creating a budget and gift list eight weeks out from Christmas — and that’s next week. If you plan to have a family photoshoot, you can also set the date and start getting your mailing list together for holiday cards.

You may also wish to stock up on the foodstuffs you’ll use to create Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. Early in the pandemic, staples such as flour and butter sold out on grocery shelves; buy them now so that you can treat your family to cookies and pies.

A good #decluttering and #cleaning will help prepare your home for holiday parties and other goings-on. Clear and dust any surfaces where you’ll display holiday knickknacks and check the string lights. It will help stage your home for the holidays that much faster.

As for the #stuff you declutter, bag any lightly used clothing and household items and contact for a #donation pickup. Your #donations will be resold to help fund veterans programs, so you’ll be spreading good cheer all season long.

The holidays were stressful enough before the global pandemic, but #COVID-19 has brought new challenges to annual celebrations. Prepare for them early, and you can sail through the holidays with as few disruptions as possible.