5 Tips to a Stress-Free Thanksgiving
The big day is almost here. Delicious food. Friends and family. Much deserved time off.
But all you’re feeling is….worry, anxiety and stress.
It doesn’t have to be that way. With our 5 tips for a stress-free holiday, even the host can feel joyous and thankful minus the drama (in the kitchen, at least – we can’t speak for Aunt Mildred’s arthritis).
- Make a (prep) list. Check it twice. Santa style. Once you finalize your menu, make your task list and your shopping list. Organize your shopping list based on the layout of the store. It may take you more than one trip, but with those lists in hand, or on your phone, you’ll be cruising through the grocery store aisles with ease.
- Experiment. But not too much. Is this your first year hosting and you’re dying to try the new chocolate pecan pie recipe you saw on the Food Network? By all means, try it! But, know your audience, and know the menu staples that have kept everyone coming back for seconds, and thirds (Aunt Mildred), for years. People get attached to their favorites!
- Thaw your turkey. Ahead of time. Really. Cranking up the dial on the oven will not get it done faster. It will just increase the chances of needing a fire extinguisher and having a much more “crispy on the outside, raw on the inside” meal than planned. Better yet, order a pre-cooked bird that only needs to be heated before the guests arrive. They’ll be none the wiser and you’ll be the holiday hero!
- Get you and your table ready first. On the morning of the big feast, set the table first. And, then, get yourself ready. Having those things done while you’re rocking and rolling in the kitchen the rest of the day will provide an extra level of calm. No need to worry about perfecting the centerpiece or changing into your holiday best after those always-early guests start to arrive (yep, you guessed it, Aunt Mildred, again).
- Plan activities outside of the kitchen. No matter the size of your kitchen, it can get crowded. Make sure there are “activities” planned in other areas of the house. You can set up your drink station in the dining room. Have some Thanksgiving crafts for kids in the living room. Throw some card tables up in the basement (near the football games of course). And, keep in mind that there are still going to be those who insist on helping you, whether you need it or not. So keep some tasks handy for them – a small cutting station for lemon slices for the tea, silverware that needs to be placed on the table, or ask for help when serving drinks.
Don’t you feel more organized and calm already? Us too. And, here’s hoping your Thanksgiving meal is as food-coma-inducing as it’s ever been!
Happy Thanksgiving steak-lovers.