With the chaos of 2020, I think I speak for most of us when I say I am VERY excited for Thanksgiving this week! Even though many parts of our Thanksgiving celebrations aren’t quite traditional this year, I’m still looking forward to the different and new things that we get to enjoy.
For example, on Thanksgiving Day, I’ll be whipping up a turkey day meal for two, which I’ve NEVER done before! As someone who’s grown in my cooking skills this year, I’m eager for the chance to try my hand at some classic recipes. And because this meal is just for the two of us, we get to decide what we really want to be on the table! Everyone has their favorite and least favorite dishes, so it’s fun to be able to choose. My non-negotiable Thanksgiving dish is 100% mashed potatoes and gravy. It’s not Thanksgiving without gravy on everything, am I right?!
Familiar sights, smells, and experiences can bring so much comfort, even in the midst of fear and uncertainty in our world. If you’re trying something new this year like me, here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving tips and tricks I’ve found all around the internet this week.
1. For anyone cooking a full turkey for the first time year…
Even though we’ll be whipping up a three pound turkey breast, I’m still bookmarking this for the future!
2. For anyone needing some menu inspiration…
My favorite! Half Baked Harvest came out with her 2020 Thanksgiving Menu which looks AMAZING. More than that, on her Instagram page she’s got a stories feature highlighting a new Thanksgiving tip each day since the beginning of the month! These tips are also featured in her Nine Favorite Things weekly blogs, if you’d rather read them that way. Some of my favorite tips she’s shared include:
- Set the table way ahead of time.
- Make a schedule for when things are going to be cooking, working backwards from when you want to be sitting down to eat (genius!).
- Utilize as many slow cookers/instant pots as you can, to open the premium oven space for things that need it, like turkey, rolls, etc.
3. For anyone looking to try their hand at something new…
I have always wanted to try my hand at doing a fancy lattice crust topping! I found this how-to on Pinterest and it doesn’t seem too intimidating; I just think you’d need to be mindful at each step. I will be giving it a try tomorrow when I whip up my Apple Pie with store-bought pie crust.
4. For anyone wanting a mood-boosting tablescape…
Even if your Thanksgiving crew is smaller than other years, there’s still value in making things feel special. I’ve been really enjoying seeing how others have styled their tables, like Joanna Gaines did as featured above back in 2018; simple green garland, warm candlesticks, fun glassware, and layered textures with the classic runner and rustic chargers all work together to create an inviting scene. The beautiful thing is that you can make your tablescape how you’d like it, adding and taking away elements to match your style and make it feel most inviting for you.
Pinterest has a great feature on Thanksgiving decor and table centerpieces here.
5. For anyone in need of encouragement this Thanksgiving…
This tip is from my corner of the internet 👋
You don’t need anyone’s permission to do anything, let me say that first. But if you’re needing that little extra encouragement today… here it is:
Do. Your. Own. Thing.
So much heartbreak has happened in our world since last Thanksgiving. Please give yourself some grace.
If you want to make all your favorite Thanksgiving dishes, make them. If you don’t want to make any kind of traditional Thanksgiving meal, take the time to enjoy the kind of meal that makes YOU happy on Thanksgiving Day. Wear the outfit that’ll make you the happiest, whether it’s a cute new dress or the coziest, stretchiest top and bottom combo you own. Don’t feel like you “need” to do anything if it’s not life-giving.
This day is meant for celebrating the blessings in our lives, for being truly and deeply thankful. The rest is just for fun. I hope if nothing else, you take the time to acknowledge what brings you joy, what makes you feel safe, and those who make you feel loved.
If no one’s told you recently, YOU are loved! I hope you find some special ways to make Thanksgiving 2020 meaningful for you and your loved ones. Let me know if you try any of these tips or have any others to suggest!