A Cheerful Look Ahead

With all this beautiful weather and so much in the news, you might have forgotten, MARtians: Thanksgiving is mere weeks away! Not to worry. I have your back with these tips for getting a head start on planning.

Plan your centerpiece.

A stunning centerpiece sets the tone for the holiday, letting your guests know you mean business – holiday business that is! There are many ways to show your turkey day pride, but be sure to make it big, grand and colorful. Bring loads of festive fall color to your table and repurpose your Halloween d̩cor with a pumpkin bouquet. (Already tossed your pumpkin? No worries – they are still on sale at better prices than before.) I have the how-to details right here for your edification. You can do this in advance, and pop in fresh flowers if needed closer to Thanksgiving.

Plan your menu.

The event is weeks away so curl up on the couch with a pad and paper or your laptop and get in the spirit while the stress level is nice and low. Discover the ultimate list of Thanksgiving recipes or how about this delicious stuffing recipe that is an integral part of my holiday feast.

Make ahead.

Go on! Get started. Because youMARtians are very conscientious, clever people I know you might already make lots of your dishes way ahead. This one is not only yummy, but makes a great hostess gift. Homemade cranberry orange relish will only get better if it sits in the fridge. The flavors really get a chance to marry, and the taste will make you merry. Don’t forget to dream up a signature cocktail. That should get the party started!

Plan the music.

I have noticed that many a beautiful dinner party has been lacking this layer of festivity. Now is the time to go on iTunes, Pandora, YouTube or whatever music services you enjoy, and cue up a rocking or relaxing set of tunes. Music provides a backdrop that buoys the spirit and creates a mood. Don’t forget to let tunes help you get your turkey groove on! Even if you don’t have Pandora, their annual thanksgiving Dinner playlist might spark your own creative assortment.

Deep clean.

Those once-a-year fall chores are waiting for your attention. Touch up the woodwork. Wash the cabinets. Launder your curtains and clean the windows till they sparkle. You need to do it anyway, why not get going and ensure you’re not worried about cleaning your head off while you’re cooking your heart out. You can search on-line for checklists–this one is a good starter–but only you know what bigger cleaning chores need doing. Get them done now; you don’t want them ‘gobbling’ up your time the week of Thanksgiving!

Don’t forget the outside!

You know I love my gardens. I also love the yard and the outside in general. There is plenty of time to tidy up the yard and add some holiday flair. From wreaths to urns, you can add a touch of fall color that will last throughout the Thanksgiving season. Plan now to create winter interest, then add holiday touches as those dates near; this way you can take them back out afterward while keeping your base layers the same. Purple cabbage, curly green kale, rosy berries, earthy twigs and pinecones – these are all Mother Nature’s most beautiful gifts, and you can probably forage in your own yard for much of the ingredients. Click here to scan my often-requested list of projects that you can do now in Fall which also save you time throughout the winter.

I hope you get a little bit excited from these thoughts. I know I certainly am. The holidays are a time to feel love and warmth from family and friends. It is truly special, so don’t stress – plan – and that will help you to –

Keep it Casual!