I know I love Christmas, and although I start watching Christmas Movies and listening to Christmas music around Halloween, I still really do love Thanksgiving. Not only do I love Thanksgiving, I actually prefer to HOST Thanksgiving. I am a fairly picky eater, and when I host I can make all of the food I love to eat, and nothing that I don’t. I also love to use tech to help organize the day!
In fact, I even hosted Friendsgiving AND Thanksgiving last year! My Friendsgiving usually consists of 12 adults and 25 kids! My friends have lots of kids. This year another friend hosted Friendsgiving, but I’m still on the hook for Thanksgiving this year.
As with most things, I love using tech to help keep me on top of everything that needs to get done for the big meal!
What to watch
First things first, while I’m peeling potatoes and roasting the turkey I watch the same things every year. I turn on Netflix and watch every Thanksgiving episode of Friends first. Since you might not be as well versed as I am, here is the list:
Friends Thanksgiving episode list in order of seasons
- The One Where Underdog Gets Away (episode 9)
- The One with the List (episode 8, probably the weakest of all of them)
- The One with the Football (episode 9)
- The One with Chandler in a Box (episode 8)
- The One with All the Thanksgivings (episode 8)
- The One Where Ross Got High (episode 9, probably the BEST of them all)
- The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs (episode 8)
- The One with the Rumor (episode 9)
- The One with Rachel’s Other Sister (episode 8)
- The One with the Late Thanksgiving (episode 8)
Once I’m done watching the Friends episodes if there is time I also watch The Thanksgiving House and Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade (both available on FrndlyTV). If I don’t get around to those while I’m cooking, I will usually watch them in the evening as I bask in the afterglow of my full belly!
Tech to Help Organize Your To-do list
My favorite to-do list app is TickTick. I love being able to organize my lists so I can have everything I need to do for Thanksgiving separated out. I add things like “borrow tables and chairs” to “get a new roasting pan”. It’s awful running around right before the big day if I’ve forgotten anything.
I also use this to organize the day of Thanksgiving so I know what time I need to start each food item. First, I set due dates and times for the specific food so I can make sure it’s ready at exactly the right time. Plan out your whole day according to how long it will take to prep and cook and what time dinner will be served.
Order groceries online
Grocery shopping online has literally changed the whole game. Even though I don’t have super young children anymore that make shopping in the store difficult, I still LOVE picking up my groceries from the store without ever leaving my car.
Plan out your entire shopping list and schedule to pick it up Monday, the week of Thanksgiving. While it may be a bit late in the game this year for this advice, if you haven’t tried it you need to! So many people do their shopping on Saturday that a lot of the stock has been picked through. Monday allows the store a bit of time to restock from the weekend rush.
Use a smart display to help with your recipes
I am nothing without a recipe. Literally. I am a terrible cook. But if I can follow a recipe exactly I can usually muddle my way through it. If I can follow along step by step with photos or videos, even better. I typically use the Good Eats Roast Turkey recipe. I love how Alton Brown takes a scientific approach to cooking.
All I need to say to Google is “Hey Google, show me the Good Eats Roast Turkey recipe” and before I know it, I’m following along in the steps. Since the turkey is a multi-day process, it allows me to continue the recipe at any time.
You can use your smart speakers or displays to set multiple timers too. So you can say “Hey Google, set turkey timer for 4 hours” and then say “Hey Google, set rolls timer 12 minutes”. It will keep track of each timer and let you know what exactly is done and when!
When you are ready to eat, set the mood by playing a classical playlist on all of your smart speakers at the same time. So you have a whole-home audio system too.
These are just a few things you can do to make your Thanksgiving day go super smoothly! Try using tech to help organize your day! Next year you can even send out invites using an online invitation tool. Then make food assignments with tools like Signup genius.
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com