Ok, October is here, and there’s no use burying my head in the sand because the holidays ARE coming. I’m not a holiday-hater or anything; buuuuuut, I’m not exactly one of those people who does a happy dance this time of year, either. The workload that comes with Thanksgiving and Christmas is daunting for me. As a blogger, there’s added pressure to make the holidays special in lots of little ways throughout November and December because, well, it’s my job. (So does that mean I have to stop labeling Christmas gifts with a Sharpie? Yes. Yes, it does.) Now, I’m not sure whether or not we’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, but I thought I’d get a jump on things just in case. Thanksgiving dinner is epic, right? Who has time to decorate the kids’ table with its own little theme? Not this girl. Who has time to paint acorns in pastel colors just for the fun of it? Yep, you guessed it. And you probably don’t have this kinda time, either, I’m guessing. So here are just a few ideas I’ve stumbled across that yes, require you to make or assemble them, but actually make things EASIER when hosting Thanksgiving dinner. They are crafts, but they serve a purpose beyond just cuteness. I swear.
Pinecone Place Cards via Health Magazine
I have gone on the record saying that I don’t “do” place cards, but you know what? They’re kinda helpful. If you’ve ever stood around the table not sure where to sit as the food gets cold and your mom is barking orders, then you know it can just simplify things ahead of time.
Pumpkin Ice Bucket by Cheryl Style
Don’t have an ice bucket? No problem!
Paper Thankful Placemats by Skies of Parchment
Gratitude trees are pretty, yes, but again…time consuming. These paper placemats protect your tablecloth from gravy stains and provide a place for your guests to jot down their thankful thoughts. So you can keep the reason for the season front and center without a lot of extra work.
Cork Trivets by Martha Stewart
I love this idea because I never have enough hot pads. These trivets protect the table and even act as a sort of table runner when all lined up. You could paint them if you wanted.
Food Labels by Three Little Monkeys
If you’re hosting a buffet or even a potluck buffet, then you may want to print off some of these handy tent labels for all of the various dishes. A lot easier than hearing people whisper, “What is this?” or asking, “Does this have gluten?” thirty-two times.
Leftover Labels by Online Labels
And speaking of food labels, if you’ve ever been in charge of packing up leftovers, you know you get lots of requests. “I’ll have some turkey but no dressing.” “Potatoes with gravy on the side for me!” “Some of that broccoli casserole stuff, please, and a slice of pie for Tom.” Here’s how to streamline this process. Buy some containers (Gladware, chinese takeout boxes, whatever) and slap some labels on them. Give everyone a box with a label, turn on some tunes, and have them dish out what they want themselves, then stack them in the fridge (with names on them) until everyone’s ready to go. Problem solved.