Thanksgiving Dinner: Thankful or Stressed out?

thankstraditionsdinner_15596_469x2993Did you lose at Rock-Paper-Scissors with your siblings and this is your year to host Thanksgiving dinner? Or perhaps you are the Martha Stewart type who craves these days to tout your culinary prowess?

Regardless of your feelings about hosting a holiday gathering, there is one thing in common. These types of events can be hard on the budget.

Many Hands, Light Work (less $$)

Just because you are hosting doesn’t mean that you have to bear the brunt of all of the expenses and all of the work. Tackle the turkey, and then have your guests bring the other dishes, including sides, appetizers, dessert and alcohol.

Have people bring their favourite traditional dish, which can be fun if you’ve got a few different families congregating.

Streamline the Menu

I fall prey to this all the time- completely lured in by slick, glossy magazine photos of gorgeous table spreads and exquisite (but expensive) dishes.

Set your budget. Set your menu and stick to it. You don’t need four different potato dishes, no matter how pretty the pictures. You end up wasting food- and wasting money.

No Turkey?

Who says that the main dish has to be turkey? Maybe this is the year to step beyond tradition and make a big pasta main or some other, less expensive but just as flavourful dish.

Remember, it’s about gathering together and celebrating each other’s company.

Don’t Splurge on Décor

Back to those glossy magazines. You can recreate a lot of what you see for very little (or even no) money.

Head outdoors to collect nature’s bounty to spread across your table, rather than heading to the florist or boutique for expensive centrepieces.

Even a simple linen cloth with leaves scattered in the center, or a simple vase filled with gourds or pussy willows and twigs tied with ribbon make for pretty, eye-catching (and cheap) décor.