Friday, September 2, 2011

My Harvest Day Check List

When planning for Family Harvest Day, there are a lot of things I need to consider; and a lot of decisions to be made. I will have many people coming, and I will be feeding them a full meal. We will be having age appropriate activities for the kids, and some things the adults take part in too; as well as scarecrow building. I often refer back to my notes and lists I make for the previous years; it really helps out. When planning a menu, last years list will help me with quantities I need to buy. Read my first post if you haven’t yet; it will then be easier to understand some of my reasoning here with my decisions. Here is the first list I have made for myself.
Family Harvest Day 2011
·         Date
·         Location
·         Menu
Choose and Plan:
·         Activities for kids
·         Activities for adults
·         Table service, flatware, etc.
Guest List:
·         Send out Save the Date notifications
·         Re-check contact info
·         Look for table ware to purchase
·         Purchase items I know I will need, i.e. more Mason jars for drinks
We have set the date; when ever I choose a date for a family gathering, I first check with each of my kids and their spouses to find the best time for the gathering. It’s not always possible to have everyone in attendance but we try by starting as early as possible to set a date. A very real consideration for us choosing a Harvest Day date here in Arizona is also the weather. Our event will be outside so we make ours as close to the end of October as possible, hoping for cooler temps. Any other guests we invite are then notified of the date as soon as I am given an ‘all clear’ by my family.
This years location is a problem at the moment as we need a large space, and the family member that hosted this event last year has moved. We are still deciding our location.
I can not choose a menu until I have a location as the kitchen facilities (or lack of) will be a big factor in what I need to serve. The menu therefore, is somewhat on hold until a location is decided on.
I am currently looking into activities for the kids, all but two of them will be age five and under, so I keep that in mind. I also want activities for the adults to participate in. It’s hard to get the men out of their seats and playing games, but I have a couple of ideas, and I will be approaching a couple of the guys before hand and asking them personally to take the lead and take part in these activities. Hopefully the others will follow.
I have decided on my meal service ware; I found a set of Corelle dishes at a local thrift store at half price. The name of the pattern is Abundance, a fitting pattern for our Harvest Day. So no, I will not be serving a meal in a Mason jar! I brought my dishes home and started looking online to see if I could find more of these dishes for sale around town. I still have some time to search; and I can always find something to coordinate with them if I can’t find the exact pattern. One way I searched for more of these dishes was to post on my Face Book page to my friends to help me look for them at yard sales and thrift stores. One hour after I posted my request, a friend called to say she had that set and planned to get rid of it when she moved next month. So I’m almost set for dishes! Just need a few more…..
I also found flatware at the thrift store half off sale, some of it is vintage, which I just adore because it takes me back to my grandmother’s house! I would have loved vintage dishes also but that’s not in my budget. Corelle is light weight, hard wearing, not easily broken, and each dish is thinner than most dishes so it doesn’t use much storage space either. Perfect choice for this event. Even if we end up hosting Harvest Day at a park with no kitchen, I will still use these real dishes instead of disposable! 
As far as guest notification; I have sent out a save the date notice by email and by text. It’s good to find out how your guests prefer to be notified for future information at this point. I will not be sending out a formal invitation this year though I did last year. I can save a little money this way and everyone on my list responds well to text messages and emails. I will send out another one soon as a reminder, another about 3 weeks before the event, a week before, and finally the day before. Yes, I want to make sure everyone is informed and prepared for a great time that day! In future emails/text, I will let them know how my plans are coming along, without too many details, and without giving away any surprises. I will let them know what they are expected to bring, what they should wear, and remind them they need to bring the clothing and the plastic bags they have been saving for the scarecrows.
More to come soon!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for keeping us up with your Harvest Day plans. I love the dishes! My dad used Corelle dishes. Once I contemplated buying him some "nicer" dishes, but then I realized that most dishes are much heavier and would be harder for him to handle. I hope you complete your set!


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