With Thanksgiving Day just around the corner and COVID-19 surging onward, it’s important to prepare beforehand for this year’s festivities.
Thanksgiving Day 2020 will be historically different from previous years because of the worldwide pandemic that has no end in sight. Special accommodations will most likely have to be made for guests who are high risk and anyone who doesn’t live with you, such as friends and extended family. You should also check your county orders to find out whether or not you are permitted to have outsiders over for Thanksgiving this year. And, if masks and social distancing are mandated in your county, you should definitely comply with those rules. Encourage your guests to do the same to be as safe and as courteous as possible.
To help you prepare for this year’s unique Thanksgiving experience, check out the following steps to prepare for Thanksgiving Day 2020!
Decorate and set up your space.
The first step in preparing for Thanksgiving Day 2020 is to decorate your home. You can find all sorts of affordable fall decorations through online retailers such as Etsy and Wayfair. Or you can search Pinterest and YouTube for some easy and inexpensive DIY projects to truly make your Thanksgiving setup unique.
You should also consider deep cleaning the space where your guests will be, such as the kitchen, dining room, backyard, and living room. Present the best possible version of your home to your guests so that they feel welcome and safe!
Check with your guests to determine whether or not social distancing will be enforced. If so, set up your dining area in the backyard and leave plenty of room between each seat so that your guests will feel comfortable and safe. If your county orders mandate that you and all your guests wear face masks, consider purchasing a bundle of fall-themed masks from Etsy to hand out to your guests as party favors! Or, if you’re crafty enough, snag a few fall-themed fabrics from your local arts and craft store and make the masks yourself!
Choose your outfit and get your nails done.
Plan out your outfit beforehand so that you’re not tearing through your closet to find something decent if your Thanksgiving Day preparations don’t go as smoothly as planned. Dress accordingly to the formality of the event. Then either get your nails done or do them yourself—preferably in a festive pattern!
If you’re just having some friends over for a casual Friendsgiving, wear something simple like an oversize sweater, leggings, booties, and your favorite fall scarf. If you have your significant other’s family over for the first time, make a strong impression by dressing in something classy and conservative. Try out a turtleneck sweater dress with knee-high boots.
Take inventory of your fall linens and dinnerware.
Decide how you’re going to set up your dinner table. If you need some inspiration, check out Pinterest for ideas. Once you have an idea of what theme or color scheme you’re going with, check your current linen and dinnerware inventory to see if you have what you need. If not, check out Party City, Kohl’s, or Walmart for affordable fall-themed linens and dinnerware sets.
If you’re having an outdoor dinner, consider using fall-themed paper and plastic dinnerware, which can also be found at Party City, Zazzle, or Target.
Plan out each course and stock up on popular items early.
If you’ve ever hosted a holiday dinner party before, you’ve probably experienced how stressful it is to go food shopping at the last minute. You also know how hard it is to find that everything you need has been thoroughly cleaned out. Most holiday shoppers wait until the last minute, so get started on your shopping early on and beat the rush! Staple foods like meats, stuffing mixes, gravy, pre-made pies, and pie crusts are typically the first items to go the weekend before and the week of Thanksgiving.
Due to COVID-19, you might want to consider the idea of setting up your courses buffet style rather than serving everything at the table. You definitely don’t want to risk any food getting contaminated by your guests talking to one another across the table.
Confirm any dietary restrictions.
Ask your guests to disclose any dietary restrictions they have before you go shopping for food. You should always plan on a vegetarian option, a gluten-free option, and a vegan option. Still, you should also make sure none of your guests have any food allergies or other restrictions that might jeopardize their health.
Keep in mind that some traditional Thanksgiving dessert recipes call for Jell-O, which contains gelatin—a non-vegan and non-vegetarian-friendly animal byproduct. Also, if you have any vegans in attendance, honey is typically not vegan friendly. So if any of the recipes you’ve chosen calls for honey, either ask your vegan guests if they’d like you to omit that ingredient or choose a different recipe. If you have guests who have high cholesterol, cook with less salt, and choose ingredients that are low in sodium. If you’re making soup, consider making your own broth from scratch since packaged broths are generally very high in sodium.
Double check with your guests for an up-to-date head count.
The worst thing you can do is underestimate the number of guests who will attend and thus not have enough food for everyone!
When you send out invitations formally or informally, ask your guests to RSVP by a specific date. Then, call or text those guests who don’t RSVP on time to determine whether or not they’re planning to come. Double-check one last time a few days before Thanksgiving Day to find out if anyone is withdrawing their attendance at the last minute. You will also find out if anyone who did not RSVP has decided to come anyway. By doing so, you’re giving yourself time to stock up a little extra without having to do the bulk of your shopping at the last minute.
Did these steps help you prepare for Thanksgiving Day 2020? Comment your thoughts below!
Featured image source: https://mindyweiss.com/how-to-set-a-thanksgiving-table/
Jamie graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is an aspiring writer, professional editor/proofreader, and piano player. In her free time, Jamie enjoys reading classic literary works, composing music, and playing Xbox with her husband!