Thanksgiving is traditionally spent with family (for better or worse), and lots of it. Many couples alternate between spending the much-loved holiday with one family and then the other, but there are bound to be years when you’re both living far from home, can’t get time off, or simply want to be alone. In those cases, forget the requirement of spending the day with your weird Uncle Phil, and instead plan a relaxed, romantic and cozy Thanksgiving for two!
- Menu and Recipes
- Smart Casual Clothing
- Television (optional)
- Festive Music and Films (optional)
- Set the menu. While your first impulse might be to go all out and cook for 12 (or 20), it’s important to remember that there are only two of you, so a menu for six is plenty! All kidding aside, don’t take on too large a menu or your cozy holiday will quickly become more stressful than romantic. You can find entire menus for a wide variety of Thanksgiving types, from formal to Italian to intimate, in books and online. Martha Stewart’s website is a great free resource.
- When planning the menu, forget about tradition and be flexible. For instance, instead of cooking an entire turkey, why not opt for a turkey breast? Or, if you’ve never liked turkey, why not cook lamb? If you’d rather change the menu entirely, you can make a lasagna (as many Italian-American families do) or even Indian food. The important thing is that you spend the day together.
- Hit the shops. Once you’ve set the menu, don’t waste any time doing your food shopping! In the days before Thanksgiving the stores will be crowded and may even sell out fo the ingredients you need. If you’re buying a frozen turkey or other meat, don’t forget to make allowances for the amount of time that will be needed to thaw it out before cooking. If you want to miss the crowds entirely, you can shop online from the comfort of your home and have it all delivered.
- Decor. In terms of decorating, simple is best! First pick up the space you’ll be using and clean it well. If that means bringing in a cleaner for a few hours, do so! You’ll both feel much more relaxed in a clean and comfortable atmosphere. Lay a fresh, crisp white or Thanksgiving-themed cloth tablecloth across the table and set it with plates, glasses, napkins and utensils ahead of time. Two tall white candles and a small bouquet of flowers in the centre, and you’re ready to go!
- Entertainment. If you’re traditional, start the day by watching the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day (or other Thanksgiving) Parade while you cook and follow up your meal with a televised football game. If those options don’t appeal to you both, choose a beloved film to watch after dinner, such as Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Home for the Holidays, Uncle Buck or A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. All are guaranteed to ring in the start of the holiday season!
- The day. The planning is done and the day has arrived! It’s time to relax and get into the holiday mood. Forget the stress of the week and have fun watching tv, cooking and talking together. There are bound to be mistakes made and a bit of chaos, so decide ahead of time not to worry about it! Play soft or festive holiday music in the background while you cook and dine together and cuddle up in front of the tv or fire afterwards.