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Try Something Different this Year with a Thanksgiving Day Brunch

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year, with families traveling far and wide to visit parents, grandparents, friends, and other relatives.  These days it's not unheard of for people to eat multiple turkey dinners to accommodate all the family members they need to visit on Thanksgiving.  On the flip side, there are people who sit home alone on Thanksgiving because they live far away from their families and their friends are too busy rushing to Mom and Dad's to stop by for a visit.  This year, whether you've got multiple family members you're trying to get together with or want to give your friends a chance to relax before they have to deal with the stress of family dynamics and strained familial relations at the dinner table, why not throw a Thanksgiving brunch?  A mid-morning meal gives everyone a chance to stop by before the hustle and bustle of the afternoon craziness starts, meaning your friends will have a chance to chat before heading to Mom and Dad's, your cousin who has to work the night shift can visit before catching some sleep, and you can see everyone without causing any guilt that they'll be missing an important family meal! 

While a Thanksgiving brunch won't require quite as much planning and prep as a full Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings, you'll still need to think ahead and do some prep work so that you're not stuck in the kitchen when everyone arrives.  Do you want to have your brunch be an open house where people can stop by whenever they get a chance?  This works great if you're inviting a lot of people and have nowhere else you need to be for the day.  Send out personalized Thanksgiving invitations to the neighbors, friends, and family you want to invite, letting them know the open house hours and what you'll be serving so they can bring their appetites and plan accordingly!  If it's a smaller crowd you're expecting, then a sit-down brunch is more appropriate.  Either way, plan your dishes and decor accordingly. 

Decorate for your Thanksgiving brunch with festive Thanksgiving party supplies and decorations. Your wedding china or Grandma's heirloom hand-me-downs are a great choice for an intimate meal, but for larger crowds or a buffet, Thanksgiving harvest paper plates might be more practical.   Pair them with a pretty coordinating tablecloth that will make cleanup a snap and your guests won't even notice you're using paper goods!  They'll just notice what a pretty table you've set.  Top your table with a fresh fall flower arrangement and some fun pilgrim taper candles and you'll be ready to serve up a good time! 

While you don't have to worry about stuffing a turkey and turning on the over at the crack of dawn, you can make some brunch dishes with a Thanksgiving flair for your Thanksgiving brunch.  A sausage and egg breakfast strata can be prepared the night before and popped into the oven shortly before the guests arrive, taking the hardest part of the prep work out of the equation the morning of your Thanksgiving brunch.  Or, serve up some festive pumpkin pancakes with warm maple syrup and apple butter to celebrate the tastes of the season!  Whip up a batch of blueberry or apple spice muffins in the days before your brunch and freeze them to preserve freshness.  Stop off at the local farmer's market to pick up some apple butter or, if you've got a favorite recipe of your own, some fresh apples to make your own batch of applesauce, apple butter, or pumpkin butter.  Fry up some turkey bacon, sausage, and gravy to serve on the side, and you'll have everything you need to fuel up your guests and send them off to their Thanksgiving feasts!  All you need is some fresh coffee, tea, juice, and milk and you'll be set. 

While Thanksgiving might be known for Turkey and stuffing, starting a tradition of a Thanksgiving brunch, whether it's with your own family before they head off to the in-laws for dinner, with the neighbors, or with a group of friends who don't have family in the area, is a great way to celebrate the holiday in your own way.  And having all the hard work done by late morning leaves you free to spend the rest of your day relaxing, watching football, and thinking of all the things you're thankful for this year. 

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