National Turkey Day could easily be relabeled National Dysfunctional Family Day for many of us. Avoid the holiday blues with a bit of planning and a positive attitude. If you’re expecting a big day, roasted turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings, then relax we’ve got you covered. From choosing the right wine to carving up the bird to selecting the perfect bowtie to wear with your favorite Thanksgiving outfit, Knot Standard’s A Guy’s Guide to Thanksgiving has everything you need to get you through Turkey day.
- Dress up. One of the keys to getting through the entire Thanksgiving holiday feeling relaxed and happy is what you wear. Given the formality of Thanksgiving dinner, the cooler temperatures of November and the afternoon football games, it can be a bit tricky deciding what to wear. We’ve got you covered with a simple layering idea. Start with a solid base of light blue men’s dress shirt, pullover sweater, Classic Navy Cotton Chinos and a Classic Windowpane Blazer. Add a polka dot bow tie in blue and white for an fun twist. Remember there will likely be many photos taken throughout the day and you want to look your best.
- Bring the wine. Regardless of what your host is serving, showing up with a few bottles of your favorite white or red is sure to be a crowd pleaser. If you prefer white, go for a Chenin or Sauvignon Blanc for a lighter, crisper glass. If you like reds, Pinot Noir and Syrah both work well with turkey and all the trimmings.
- Carving up the turkey. Make sure you have a sharp, non serrated edge knife. The sharper the better. Once the bird is roasted golden brown, show it off to the gathered assembly, snap a family photo and then return it to the kitchen for the carving. Place it on a large wooden cutting board before you start. When carving, place your knife between the leg and the breast to start. Remove the legs before moving on to the thighs, wings and then carving the breast. Remember you want the meat to look beautiful on the platter but you’re not making sandwich meat. Carve out juicy chunks with a bit of the crispy skin that will look appetizing on a plate.
- Don’t overeat. The value of tryptophan may be grossly underestimated in modern society but it’s best not to indulge too much. Remember Thanksgiving is a marathon, not a sprint. Start with a cocktail but avoid the snacks, enjoy a light dinner – go easy on the turkey unless you want to fall asleep before the first kickoff – and save room for desert.
- Whether you’re a Seahawks, Cowboys or 49ers fan, odds are you’ll spend a few hours glued to a television at some point in the day. This is the time to slide off the blazer or sport coat and if it’s really warm, pull off the sweater. Just don’t hang them on a chair. Use a hall or bedroom closet to protect your jacket’s shoulders and a wooden hanger is even better.
Enjoy the day, offer to help clean up and leave before the hosts fall asleep on the sofa.