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Adlen Robinson: Remember to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day
Adlen Robinson

I can hardly believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Many of you are probably already cooking, setting the dining room table and frantically cleaning the house. Some of you may be dreading certain family members or anticipating disagreements over various hot topics.

My suggestion is to stay focused on what you are thankful for and don’t let annoyances get to you. After all, life is too short.

Spend a few minutes today thinking about how blessed you truly are. It’s no secret I absolutely love this time of year. I love thinking back on the numerous Thanksgiving Day dinners and lunches we hosted and attended. 

The big day always begins early — as soon as my feet hit the floor, I pretty much don’t sit down again until the actual dinner begins.

As I noted in my column a few weeks ago, make sure you have a detailed list to keep you on track. Even if you haven’t made a list for tomorrow, take a few minutes now to do so. I promise, even if you think there is no way you will forget to put the cranberry sauce on the table, without a list and the certain element of chaos, you just might forget.

Here are a few other tips to get you through turkey day.

Ice. You can never have too much ice. To avoid using up valuable freezer real estate, throw a few bags of ice into a good cooler.

Designate a beverage station. Set up a table in an out-of-the-way corner. Set out glasses, drinks, stirrers, cocktail napkins, and beverages. If you have a smallish group, let everybody help themselves. If you are having a crowd, perhaps ask a particular family member to help monitor the beverage table and re-stock as necessary. That frees you up to worry about the food.

Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. For hot foods, a slow-cooker can be a lifesaver. If you need more than one, borrow from friends or family members. For cold foods, use coolers with ice in them. Refrigerators tend to be full right now.

As of this writing, the weather for tomorrow is supposed to be nice. Even so, it is always wise to have a plan in case the weather isn’t pleasant — especially if young children will be in attendance.

If you plan on sending some leftovers home with your guests, purchase some inexpensive plastic containers so you can divvy up the food.

Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. Most people are happy to stop at the store and pick up something you forgot or ran out of. In addition, most guests are also happy to help you in the kitchen.

Don’t hesitate to use paper products. Even paper plates and napkins for dessert can shave off dishwashing time and space in the dishwasher.

When guests offer to help with the cleanup after the big meal, take them up on it. Crank up the Christmas music and get as many people in on the act as possible.

Instead of napping after dinner, why not lace up your sneakers and go for a family walk? Don’t forget to bring the dog — they need to get some fresh air as well.

My hope and prayer is that all of our readers have a blessed Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy the food. Remember, Americans all over are consuming the most caloric meal of the year. We are all in this together.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Don’t forget to check out my food column on Friday. You know what it’s about — using up those leftovers. 

Then, next week we are moving on to the most favorite holiday — Christmas! 

South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” Email her at