Most men think of Thanksgiving as the glorious day each year when there’s unlimited food, family and football. But preparing for Thanksgiving is stressful, and too often the women of our lives bear the stress while the men reap the rewards.
We’d like to offer a few tips for the modern man on Thanksgiving Day. Half the battle is knowing how to make yourself useful. The other half is actually following through on your good intentions.
Tip #1: Know your role. The most difficult part of Thanksgiving is not the actual cooking, it’s managing the logistics and timing of the event. If you aren’t the head chef of the family, then Thanksgiving isn’t the day to try to show off. Get your job done early, so other people don’t have to worry about it.
Tip #2: Set the table. It’s easy. There are no excuses for making a mistake, just read our earlier blog post: “Setting the Table: A Life Skill.” http://guide.forgetfulgentleman.com/2010/10/setting-table-life-skill_08.html
Tip #3: Prepare a “specialty dish.” Even if you don’t have a go-to recipe for butternut squash bread pudding up your sleeve, find a unique appetizer or side dish to prepare. Not only does it show off some of your multidimensional talents, it also serves as a great conversation starter. More importantly, people want to see others enjoying themselves, and if you come through with a home run dish, guests will love it! Here is the Food Network’s list of the 100 Best Thanksgiving Recipes: http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/thanksgiving/index.html
Tip #4: Conversation starters. The goal of any gentleman is to make people feel at ease, whether they are hosting or guests. Spend some time beforehand thinking about topics you’d like to discuss with friends and relatives. Use this day as an opportunity to truly get to know your family. This list of conversation starters should get your ideas flowing: http://www.poweroffamilymeals.com/MealtimeIdeas/Conversation_Starters.aspx
Tip #5: Clear the table and wash the dishes. You know that big pile of dishes at the end of the meal? Tackle it! This is the most valuable thing you can do on Thanksgiving. Chances are the hosts have barely had the chance to sit and enjoy their own meal. They’ve delivered the food, now it’s your turn to help.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!