Thanksgiving Without the Stress | Ann Arbor

If hosting Thanksgiving in Ann Arbor falls to you this year, you’re probably feeling a bit daunted by planning a menu, providing drinks and music and getting your house ready for family and friends. De-stress your holiday experience with these quick tips for how to relax and go with the flow this Thanksgiving.

Rene Mayorga

Don’t Over Think Hosting Duties

Thanksgiving is about love and togetherness, and you’ll shed a great deal of anxiety simply by realizing that no one expects you, your meal or your home to be absolutely perfect. Rather than stressing out over every single detail of your home’s décor, try focusing on one or two items that feel special to you, like a gorgeous centerpiece for you table or a DIY decoration that feels unique.

Host a Buffet-Style Holiday

Rather than fussing over a perfectly set table and worrying about who should sit where, go informal with a buffet-style meal this year. A casual buffet is so easy that it’s sure to become a new tradition in your family. Set up food on one long table and stack plates, silverware and drink cups within easy reach.

Prep Food in Advance

If you’re stuck in the kitchen from sunup to sundown, how can you enjoy the holiday with your loved ones? Spend the day before Thanksgiving prepping and cooking the items that can be made in advance at your own leisurely pace and you’ll only have a fraction of the work on Thanksgiving Day. Almost all of the sides and desserts can be made in advance, so make sure to work ahead and it will pay off!

Buy Local for Baked Goods

Not everyone is a culinary wizard, and pies and cakes are the most time-consuming elements of a Thanksgiving meal. Visit one of the many amazing Ann Arbor bakeries for delicious, pre-made desserts.

Clean Throughout the Day

You may be tempted to let dish duty slide during the day, but you’ll only end up with a monstrous mountain of plates to tackle at the end of the night when you’re full and sleepy. Instead, politely request that guests clear their plates at the end of every course, and keep the dishwasher running whenever you’ve got a full load. Wrapping and storing leftovers from each finished course will also keep end-of-the night cleanup to a bare minimum.

This year’s Thanksgiving holiday can be the best one ever if you can take advantage of these pointers and slow down and relax. Be thankful for the small things that help you save time this holiday season and enjoy creating simple Thanksgiving memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.