6 Ways to Make Thanksgiving Easier for Residents (And Boost Building Morale)

Wasn’t it just Halloween? How is Thanksgiving next week already? Thanksgiving is the most stressful holiday, like, ever. Well, actually New Years Eve is pretty stressful, because there’s all this pressure to find a good party and then all the bars have inflated covers and restaurants have inflated prixe fixe menus, and of course they’re out of the steak already, and you end up waiting in the snow to hail a cab at 12:05 for an hour because you just want to be home in your pajamas. Every year. And Valentine’s Day is stressful, because if you don’t have a Valentine you have to find one, and if you do have a Valentine you have to find a thoughtful gift that isn’t candy from CVS, which is what you’re going to get stuck with anyway because you waited until the night before to start looking. And don’t even get me started on Flag Day…

Anyway, Thanksgiving is one of the most stressful holidays. Especially for your residents who might be doing some cooking or hosting some of their family. And it’s not like neighbors actually can ask each other to lend a cup of sugar.

So here are some ideas to lend a (traced-and-then-colored-in-to-look-like-a-turkey) hand to make Thanksgiving easier for your residents, and possibly attract some future residents because of all the good will you’ll be spreading.

Do a last-minute group food order for your residents. No matter how much you plan for your Thanksgiving feast, there’s always going to be something you forget to buy, and it’s usually something basic, like eggs. Or butter. Or the turkey. And sometimes there’s no time to run to the store to buy it. So set up a grocery sign-up sheet, with a specific day and time you’re going to order and it will be delivered, and post flyers all over your building or on your Facebook page, etc. (You’ll still probably get stragglers, but this should curtail it a little.) People could add what they need to the list, and you could collect money from them for what they’re ordering. Have the groceries delivered to the lobby a day or two before Thanksgiving. And, if you have any unclaimed items, you can use it in your community’s communal kitchen if you have one. Or, better yet, you can donate it to a homeless shelter.

Have kid activities in the afternoon. You know what’s great about having a little kid running around near a 325 degree oven or asking you if she could help every five minutes and then dropping all your eggs on the floor? No, seriously, what’s great about that? Parents would be thrilled if you had a babysitter set up coloring books or a movie to get those little pilgrims and Indians out of their hair for just a few hours before the guests arrive.

Host a leftovers potluck event. After every Thanksgiving, people are left with tons of leftovers. This is true even if they weren’t the ones hosting the dinner, because then their moms made them take tupperware containers full of turkey legs and ziplock bags of gravy with them so they could have something to “nosh on the way home.” (You explain to me how that works.) So why not have a party for your residents, where they can bring all their leftovers. Then apartment 3B can sample 4D’s famous pecan pie, 7F can try 2C’s famous kugel, and 6H can just mooch off of everyone, because there’s always that guy. Way to be, 6H!

Organize a ‘turkey trot’ the day after. A lot of cities have a ‘Turkey Trot’ 5k event the day of Thanksgiving, so people can work up their appetites. But, a lot of people are cooking and spending time with their families that day, and will want to work off some of that stuffing the next day. You don’t have to do a formal race, but what about having a nice neighborhood walk at a specific time, and interested residents could join. Though, after all that food, it’ll probably be less of a ‘turkey trot’ and more of a ‘clutch your stomach and moan-athon,’ which is totally a thing, right?

Offer Black Friday deals. OK, this probably won’t help your residents de-stress, but if you’re having apartment tours with prospective residents, why not offer a discount on rent or some sort of bonus for signing up on Black Friday? It sure beats being trampled at a toy store after waiting to buy a Tickle Me Elmo. (Is that still popular? Hmm, how about a Rock’em Sock’em Biebers game, or a Twilight-X-Box-Furby? Maybe I’ll just stick with gift cards this year.)

Have a movie night. After all that cooking and cleaning, the thing most people want to do is sit in a dark room and stare blankly at a screen. If you have a screening room, this would be a great time to have a movie night. Serve alcoholic drinks to adults as well. After all that family fun, they’ll need it.

What are some other things to do to make Thanksgiving easier for your residents and boost building morale?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor