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I can admit that November has historically been my least favorite month, but it has grown on me over the last several years – as I have experienced motherhood with littles – as well as crisp, fallen leaf piles with my photography clients. November has got that special something, and it hasn’t always been an easy road to get to this place of tentative November loving.
We take Thanksgiving so seriously around here, because it has a long and meaningful history in the family. While my siblings all switch on and off, and tag team in and out with in-laws, somehow my little family found a way to have our holiday meal with all six grandparents gathered together under one roof. Somehow we have found the “secret” to not having to choose between family. We’re all together. This dream was born many years ago when my husband and I first met and fell in love, but we broke up before November because of distance. After two somewhat sad Thanksgivings apart – on dark and cold days – we finally got our dream wish when we reunited years later. The dream! And we have a photo from that magical day:
There have been more challenging Novembers since then – like when we moved to the east coast and I was pregnant with Scarlet and couldn’t stand the smells of food cooking! Then, three years later, I was pregnant with Des and couldn’t even stay awake to eat! If my parents host, we have to travel and listen to Des tell us for four hours how much he hates the highway, and is it a big highway or a little highway, and how many highways will we take to get there, and do any of them have doughnuts? (true story) Then there was the trip shortly after potty-training in which we stopped no less than ten times.
When we host, well, that’s not always easy either. You want everything to be just so, and although perfection is unachievable and overrated, you are still going for getting your home to be welcoming and comfortable. Clean. That’s a good one. A place of respite and relaxation. A place to focus on giving thanks and eating. Don’t worry, because S.C. Johnson has you covered!
The Home Depot has everything you need to break up the large job of preparing for Thanksgiving into ten tinier and more manageable tasks that will have you feeling more prepared than you could have imagined! You’ve got this!
Ten Easy & Manageable Ways to Get Your Home Ready For Thanksgiving:
1 – Clean the bathroom! Maybe the kitchen seems like the obvious place to start, but I always start in the bathroom. A dirty bathroom is the most unpleasant “surprise” to find when you’re a guest. Scrubbing Bubbles® Lemon Scent Bathroom Cleaner will clean your tub, toilet, tiles, sink, and shower and make sure to disinfect and clean everything that happens “behind bathroom doors”!
2 – Clean those surfaces where people will gather! Pledge® Multisurface – Antibacterial has you covered. Pledge® takes care of and protects the things you love and celebrates the beauty of homes, so you can focus on food, family and fun!
3 – Don’t stand for dirty..glass! Glass tends to hold dirt and smudges more than other surfaces. Windex® Original Glass Cleaner is perfect for so many surfaces throughout the home.
5 – Don’t forget small details in the home! Once you’re finished with all the surfaces of the house, and the full bathroom, re-stock the toilet paper, empty trash cans, put out fresh towels, and then light another candle!
6 – Vacuum! It can sound daunting but just focus on the rooms where your guests will be during the holiday – entryways, bathrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, and maybe a guest room or two.
7 – Start the dishwasher cycle early. There will likely be many dishwasher cycles! Start it running while your guests are arriving so you have no dishes stacked on the counter.
8 – Ambiance! Quickly fold up blankets, fluff up pillows, and put on some music. This will set an inviting tone in just minutes.
9 – Set a place for coats and purses. If you have a coat rack, great. If not, make up a bed for everyone to place their belongings.
10 – FOOD! Yes, there will be plenty of food for the feast itself, but guests often arrive hungry. Since we save pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving night, we make our Pumpkin Surprise for the day before. And I have a recipe for you too!
These easy and quick pumpkin party recipe is a wonderful alternative to Pumpkin Pie. We love it every year!
- 1 (15 ounce) Libby's Pumpkin
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
- 1/2 cup butter
- crushed walnuts and/or whipped cream are optional.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
- In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and evaporated milk
- Mix until smooth and pour into 9x13 inch baking dish
- Top the pumpkin mixture with yellow cake mix (dry), melt 1/2 cup butter and drizzle over cake mix until covered
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown
- Allow to cool uncovered and serve
And there you have it! Ten simple and quick ways to make your house look dreamy, and to give you more time to focus on the excitement, joy and responsibility that comes with being a hostess – and making other people also have a great holiday!