You know what crowdsourcing is, right? The basic idea is to solicit the opinions and experience of a “crowd” or group of people—typically in an online community. People use crowdsourcing for all types of projects and goals, maybe you’ve seen a friend on Facebook asking how to use Grandma’s antique washboard as a decorative object, or where the best breakfast in Toledo is—and what to order. Businesses use crowdsourcing techniques when looking for innovative ideas and non-profits use it for sourcing funding. There’s no reason YOU can’t use it to get help with your Thanksgiving meal!
If it’s your first time hosting a big Thanksgiving feast, or you’ve done it dozens of times and just want some fresh ideas, why not seek the input of your “crowd”? Here are a few ideas about how to use this technique to help solve some of your turkey day dilemmas…
Get new recipe ideas.
This is the most obvious way to utilize the knowledge of your crowd for the holiday meal. If you’re tired of making the same old, same old, put out the word that you’re looking for innovative ideas for squash, stuffing, cranberry sauce, or all those leftovers! Also, don’t forget that if you’ve got elderly guests, they may have specific food needs that should be considered as well.
Arrange potluck contributions for your meal.
If you’re doing a potluck meal, send out a message to all your invitees and ask them to comment with what they are going to bring (or alternatively, make suggestions so you don’t end up with 5 pies and no veggies).
Ask to borrow something you need.
Need some folding chairs, a punch bowl, an extra table, or an inflatable mattress? Put your needs out there—you might be surprised at what folks are not using and are willing to lend.
Find tablescape inspiration.
Some folks are masters at decorating tables for holidays, while others of us don’t think about it until the last minute. Need a few easy ideas using natural materials or wondering what you could do with the candles you have on hand? Ask your crowd!
Gather entertainment options for your group.
My family always played bingo on Thanksgiving (Mom made sure there were small prizes for people of all ages); other folks take a post-dinner walk through the woods or toss around a football. If you’re in need of suggestions for activities on Thanksgiving or over the weekend (or need to borrow a game or two), see what your social media friends have in mind.
Get advice on local travel routes and travel times.
If you’d like to give your guests some advice about the fastest routes to your home, locations of traffic jams or construction, or want to arrange a carpool for your Friendsgiving pals, put out the word and relay the info in a timely manner.
Wishing all our readers a very happy Thanksgiving (and don’t forget food safety this holiday)!