Here is a smart tip for all of you who are hosting Thanksgiving this year. If you’re not, go ahead and forward this to a family member or friend who is. They will thank you for it, I promise.
Set your table on Tuesday, two days earlier.
Actually, you could even set it a week earlier, depending on your lifestyle and if your children are old enough to not be tempted to mess it up. If you are one of those families who live at the dining table and cannot possibly imagine it all set up and ready to go that far in advance, at least plan on setting the table the night before. You won’t regret it.
Why set the table early?
Setting and decorating the table sneaks up on you and can take a ridiculous chunk of your precious time on Thanksgiving. Often you find yourself short of a dish or two or wine glasses, or napkins are wrinkled or misplaced. Setting these up early ensures that you are good to go. If not, you now have enough time to fix it.
Another reason. Ever have that moment where the guests start arriving and the table is bare? Even worse, you have the fold-up table off to the side and you have no idea where the extra chairs are. Maybe you aren’t even sure if you have extra chairs.
That, my friends, spells S-T-R-E-S-S.
What about this scenario? You have the table partially decorated and now you are fully engrossed in the kitchen. Turkey is taking longer than you thought, gravy is clumping, and guests are showing up and needing oven space. Somehow you pull it off, everyone is gathered around, waiting for the announcement to sit down for dinner. Finally you are ready and then everyone pauses… and asks… Where do we sit? Gulp. Yes, that moment is another S-T-R-E-S-S moment. Setting the table ahead of time with name places allows you to think through all the awkwardness-potential and allows guests to know where to place their belongings from the get-go. Stress, eliminated.
If you are worried about flowers wilting, many autumn type flowers are very hardy and can handle the extra days. Your florist will help you out and if you do choose dainty ones, arrange your flowers the night before. Some can be arranged and placed in the refrigerator to keep as fresh as possible.
If you are worried about glasses and plates collecting dust or dander that far in advance, don’t worry. Simply turn them over until just before the guests arrive.
Still not convinced?
Here is the #1 reason why I think setting your Thanksgiving table early makes sense and why everyone should do it.
Setting the table early eliminates that last-minutes stress so you can instead use that time to mingle, relax, and enjoy the company of your guests.