If the thought of Thanksgiving already has you sweating and wringing your hands, relax. You still have plenty of time to plan and pull off a successful and memorable holiday dinner. Just keep a few simple things in mind and don't leave the planning till the last minute.
Plan Ahead– Weeks in advance sit down and write out; a menu, shopping list, guest list, and cleaning list. Get yourself organized on paper, checklists always make it easier and give you a real sense of accomplishment. Check off each item as you complete it and bask in how on top of things you are.
Accept help- Whether someone offers to bring a side, dessert, paper goods or to help peel potatoes, wash dishes afterwards, or entertain the kids drop the standard ” Oh no I”m fine, I can do it.” Take the help not only will it take some of the pressure off you but give others
Keep the menu simple– If you must have Great Aunt Sophie's stuffing where you must make even the bread from scratch then by all means make it a part of your menu. But other non crucial items can be replaced with store bought to
Get your grocery shopping done early-Don't wait until 11 pm the night before to do your grocery shopping or you will probably end up pulling out a few handfuls of hair looking for french fried onions that have been cleared from the shelves, and left with some weird pie flavor nobody likes. Make your shopping list and check it twice, make not if you have forgotten any items and pick them up a few days in advance of the holiday.
Keep the kids busy– One obstacle to having a smoothly run day is cranky and board kids. Plan ahead for this to keep it from becoming an issue. Check out this post ideas for ways to keep the kids busy on Thanksgiving, allowing you to do what you need to do-cooking, cleaning, etc.
Let it Go!- Yes,really, a Frozen quote-I had to go there. Don't stress over the small stuff, and certainly not the things you cannot do anything about. So your cousin was 45 minutes late, and one side dish out of 10 didn't come out perfect- so what. It is really a small blip in the entire day and not worth robbing you of your precious family time. Try to keep things in perspective and focus on what is going right, as well as the gift of family and friends.
How do you plan on pulling off a stress free holiday dinner?