Here are tips on how to have a stress free Thanksgiving with your family this year.
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 until the last minute.
Make a Plan
Plan your Thanksgiving ahead of time. 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. Here is a free printable Thanksgiving Planner to make it easier for you plan ahead. Check off each item as you complete it and bask in how on top of things you are.
Whether someone offers to bring a side, dessert, paper goods or to help peel potatoes, wash dishes afterward, 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
Make a Meal Plan.
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 items if you are short on time. Limit the number of sides. Just because the original Thanksgiving was a feast, doesn’t mean that yours must be as well. Two – three favorite side dishes is plenty.
Grocery shop 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 against the actual recipes – not your memories. This will ensure you have not forgotten any items. Then shop for your groceries a few days in advance of the holiday. Make a note of any items that were out of stock and make a plan to visit another store as soon as possible or adjust your menu.
Keep the kids busy
One obstacle to having a smoothly run day is cranky and bored kids. Plan ahead for this to keep it from becoming an issue. Check out these 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?