Though it may not have been present at the 1621 celebration of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, the turkey is undoubtedly the star of the Thanksgiving feast. Because this beautiful bird is large enough to feed a sizable crowd — and because it is uniquely North American (often hunted by colonists) — it became a staple of the table when Abraham Lincoln declared our national holiday in 1863.
But as the Day of Thanks approaches and your calendar fills with celebrations, it doesn’t mean you have to have all turkey all the time. Your employees will likely get their fill of the bird while they’re off on Thanksgiving, so it’s your chance to come up with a fun, unique menu for your workplace gathering that shows them you’re grateful for them — but doesn’t give them a turkey hangover before they get to the main event.
Here are a few ideas:
Instead of a traditional meal involving a main dish and sides, encourage everyone in your office to bring their favorite soup. Provide small, disposable bowls so everyone can try as many as they wish. Chili, potato-based soups and squash soups are popular fall options and bring lots of warmth and comfort to a gathering. Before you begin taste-testing, go around the room and have everyone describe their dish. You can even have a contest for the best soup – have employees vote by dropping a small piece of paper in a cup beside their favorite option. Winner gets a holiday T-shirt, or even the option to leave a few hours early for the holiday.
Sometimes the cheese board is the best part of the meal. So why not make it the meal for your workplace Thanksgiving? Have employees bring their favorite appetizers and snack the day away. A variety of cheeses and crackers; fruits and dips; a charcuterie board featuring bacon, ham, pâté, or sausages; an olive bar; or even a crudité platter (that’s French for veggies) can bring a whole lot of happy to your office and not be too overwhelming to prepare.
Why not just go for broke and skip food altogether? There’s nothin’ wrong with serving up a smorgasbord of sweets to tell your employees you’re thankful for them. Anything pumpkin is always a huge hit. Cheesecake, score. Brownies, cookies, and yes, even the beloved fruit cake would send your crew off smiling for the holiday. Make (or buy) them in small bites so people can snack throughout the afternoon.
Bring your drink game
All these goodies are going to make people thirsty, so in addition to some water, there are a number of festive drinks you can prepare. Here are some of our favorites:
- Hot chocolate (don’t forget big huge marshmallows to melt on top)
- Cranberry apple cider punch
- Hot wassail (great with a cinnamon stick for garnish)
You still have a little time for a last-minute apparel order for your work crew! Check out these festive options that deadline soon.