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Four Steps to A Happy Thanksgiving


Every year when the holidays roll around, I find myself always playing host to my extended family. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I am happy that my wife and I have the room to host a big Thanksgiving dinner. But hosting family and friends for a few days is a lot of work and requires planning. Since we have been doing this for close to a decade, my wife and I have developed a system that helps eliminate a lot of stress and work from our proverbial plate. This plan allows us to enjoy our friends and family. The key is to prepare, stock, plan and execute.

Here is our plan –

  • Prepare the house. We prep our house for our family “invasion”. To us that means having all the beds made, the laundry done and having the basement cleaned up. We make sure all the air mattresses ready to go for nieces and nephews. To assist us in home cleaning we use a local cleaning company http://tlcservicesri.com. Tara and her crew at TLC are terrific. As for the laundry, we use a pickup and delivery service. Outsourcing the laundry before the holiday ensures we will have plenty of towels, sheets, dishcloths, etc. Using these two services enables us to make sure our house is appropriately prepared for our family onslaught. The laundry delivery service opens up a lot of time for us to get other things done.
  • Stock the house. Obviously, we have to make sure we have the turkey and all the fixings for Thursday, but that is the easy part. The important part is to make sure you have the house stocked for all the other meals. If your family is like mine, they are hungry all the time. My wife and I plan all the other meals. We focus on three meals; Wednesday night dinner for early arrivals, Thursday morning breakfast, Friday night dinner. For Wednesday, we order food from Pasta Patch www.pastapatch.com, a local company that makes freshly prepared Italian meals. For Thursday morning we provide bagels and fruit salad and great coffee. Lots of good coffee is key. For Friday night dinner we always have pizza and order it from Flatbread Company (www.flatbreadcompany.com) in Providence. Their pizza’s and salads are very creative and different than your normal cheese pizza.
  • Plan the Activities. Once all the meals are prepared and the house is cleaned and organized, we move on to the activities we will do as a family on Friday during the day. Usually, we try and do something outside and active. We all need to work off the calories! This year we are going to go on a long walk at the beach. We bring a football, the dogs and everyone can walk or play as they like. In previous years we have visited Newport, RI and also done more kid-centric activities like trampoline parks and escape rooms. The key is to get out and be active.
  • Execute. When Wednesday arrives and the family starts to roll in, we are well prepared, stocked with food and have a plan to keep everyone happy.

On behalf of HappyNest, I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

John MacKrell
Founder & CEO, HappyNest