Whether you attend a monthly or weekly Bible study, you know how invigorating it is to commune with other believers. Whenever you come together to share the word of God, pray, and lift up one another, you tend to feel more on fire for Christ.
This month you will have yet another opportunity to kindle your spiritual flame and thank the Lord for His many blessings, one of which is your Bible study group. Show your fellow believers how much you appreciate their friendship and encouragement by hosting a beautiful and delicious Thanksgiving. Here are some tips to help you plan.
1. Create a menu
Whether you’re cooking all the food yourself or hosting a potluck style celebration, it’s important to create a menu ahead of time. Otherwise, you might end up with two of the same dish – or worse, you’re missing a staple like a pumpkin pie. Regardless of who prepares the food, remember to be aware of allergies and dietary restrictions. Prepare a classic dish or mix things up with new versions of your old favorites like a hard cider sauce and sweet potato porridge.
2. Pre-assembled dishes
The best way to start the Thanksgiving feast is to pre-assemble casseroles, desserts, and other dishes before the big day. Prepare pies, cheesecake, rolls and breads two days before and reheat them before serving. Other dishes, like soups and cranberry sauce, will also keep in the refrigerator for a few days. Finish your cooking, buy and wash the green salad and brine or marinate your turkey the night before.
3. Establish a daily schedule
It’s easy to get distracted by the camaraderie with friends, and the last thing you want to do is forget about the turkey. As the big day approaches, set a calendar so you know when you plan to cook everything on Thanksgiving Day and who will do what. Set alarms on your phone to remind you to put dishes in and take out. If friends are planning on cooking food in your oven, set up a sign-up schedule to make your kitchen less chaotic on Thanksgiving Day.
4. Distribute responsibilities
1 Peter 4:10 reminds believers to “use any gift you received serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in various forms. Give your fellow disciples of Christ the chance to use their divine gifts by allowing them to help you plan Thanksgiving. With a finalized guest list, you can start coordinating menu items and decorations. Those who don’t have the time or resources to help with either one may bring in perishable items like napkins, disposable utensils, and cups.
5. Decorate early
Whether you allow others to bring decorations or have decided to make them yourself, plan a decorating day about a week before the big day. Arranging flowers and wreaths on Thanksgiving morning is a recipe for disaster. What if you spent so much time decorating your home that you had to put off dinner? You might as well set the table while you’re there too. Print your own placemats to delight the kids or create business cards to make everyone feel extra special on their day.
6. Choose a turkey
More … than 80% of people plan to eat turkey on Thanksgiving, which means you should probably pick a nice-sized bird. How tall should it be? The general rule is to plan a pound and a half of meat per guest. Some chefs choose to go even bigger, recommending two pounds per person. Others suggest serving ham, duck, or some other alternative meat option. Vegan dishes have grown in popularity in recent years, so don’t be surprised if someone suggests a plant-based main course.
7. Plan activities
Whether children are present or not, it is a good idea to provide some games and crafts for the pleasure of your guests. Have your friends bring in a few of their favorite card or board games and try something new like basketry to bring out everyone’s inner child. Remember to take the time to read some scriptures about giving thanks or celebrating God’s goodness with a Thanksgiving fellowship. List what you are grateful for and share with the group, then take the sacraments together.
Keep Christ in the Center
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. No matter what you serve or how you decorate, remember to keep Christ at the center. Focus on him as you would in a typical Bible study meeting, and celebrate his goodness together. The Lord provided the food and the company, so don’t forget to thank Him for it.