Quality Moment: Thanksgiving Logistics

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Thanksgiving-2013Paul Borawski is urging us to think about “quality moments” throughout November. Of course, we know November is World Quality Month so it’s a fitting request.

November is also when Thanksgiving is observed here in the United States… This year, Thanksgiving will be served up at my house. Therein lies the quality moment.

The logistics of planning weekly meals is one thing, but Thanksgiving is no joke.  There are obvious benefits to hosting, but there are also obvious challenges as well. Raw materials (groceries), manufacturing (preparation), delivery (presentation), etc. are all factors to consider.

I did find some great resources online to help me out with this:

Epicurious – Thanksgiving Planning Checklist

Food Network – Thanksgiving Planning Calendar

Kids’ Activities – KRP Ultimate Holiday Guide

Lifehacker – Streamline Your Thanksgiving

PBS – Ten Essential Thanksgiving Planning Tips

Here’s my simple method that I hope works:

Brainstorm the menu options. I’m considering absolute advantage.

My mom makes the stuffing my grandmother used to make exactly how I remember it.  She has absolute advantage here.  She would love to make it, it will turn out awesome, and we’ll all remember my grannie with fond memories (my family can tell you about the last time I tried make this).

My mother-in-law uses her hands to manufacture perfectly stuffed and creased pierogies.  We are talking about quality pierogies here.  She only likes to make them on special occasions, and she always makes enough for frozen treats later.  Absolute advantage.

Outsourcing is a good thing.

Figure out what’s needed and make a list.

Avoid grocery store chaos and separate the list out into “buy now” and “buy two days before.” I’ve learned from past experiences that trying to get everything all at once generally fails and results in aggravation.  Also, I’ve observed that people at the grocery store around this time don’t seem that thankful.

I just posted an article on checklists that includes several great resources. 

Prep as much as possible the night before.

I can remember one year when I failed to check that the turkey had thawed.  A little planning this time around, and we’ll be all set! Corrective action and continuous improvement there… Good stuff.

Have fun.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that I really enjoy.  When it comes to “quality of life,” there’s no better time.  Reconnecting with family and enjoying a meal you’ve all worked to make happen is incredibly rewarding.

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