As much as I love the Holiday season approaching I always dread the stress of getting prepared for big holiday meals and tons of friends and family coming to my home. After years of sleepless nights and panic attacks, I came up with a simple list of ways to have a stress-free Thanksgiving.
Using these easy tips I have managed to spend the last few years truly enjoying the day with my family rather than dreading the day of events and extra people in my home. Every family is different so feel free to adjust to your needs and desires, but this is a great list to get you started on a stress-free Thanksgiving this year!
5 Tips To Help You Have a Stress-Free Thanksgiving
One of the biggest burdens around Thanksgiving is, of course, the food involved. Getting up in the wee morning hours and cooking 20 dishes is too much for one person to handle. There will always be last minute people invited but for those you know will be coming assign dishes to bring. Send out a mass email in mid-October letting everyone who typically attends know this year you will be providing the Turkey, pie and one of the side dishes and assign vegetables, stuffing, pies, cakes, relishes and beverages to others. I try to make sure that everyone brings something that cost less than $10 to make/prepare so those in my family with tighter budgets can still afford to participate and not feel pressured.
Use Disposable Dinnerware and Utensils
I know we all have that unique set of China or holiday plates that someone bought us when we got married, and we love using those to entertain with but when you have a house full of family, football games in the background and kids to play with who wants to worry about doing dishes? Invest in a large package of quality paper dinnerware. Plastic utensils are nice to have as well, but some foods require the real thing so make that choice according to what you plan to serve.
Go Buffet Style
For even more ease with the meal, set up tables against one wall of your dining room in a buffet style. As an added bonus, you aren’t reaching over each other to pass food. In fact, we often set up buffet style on our kitchen counter and then everyone gets comfy in the living room in front of the football game on pillows and bean bag chairs.
Have Kids Make Decorations
A fancy centerpiece and perfectly shaped napkin turkeys look great on magazine covers, but most people come for the food and fellowship, not the décor. If you want to have Thanksgiving themed decorations like these TeePee centerpieces. Get the kids markers, construction paper, and empty toilet paper rolls to make easy handprint turkeys. These can be used as place settings or just scattered about to remind the adults of fun they had as a child making silly crafts. Grocery bag Indian Vests and Black & White Pilgrim hats can adorn children as they direct people to their seats in true Thanksgiving style
Send Leftovers Home
Grab a big box of gallon sized baggies or a cheap set of plastic storage containers and load up the leftovers to send home with guests. No worries about finding a place to store them or what to do with endless leftover turkey if you send it home with others!
These are simple ways to help take some of the bigger stress out of the day. In all things, remember that Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for the blessings in our lives. Family, food, good fellowship and a home to celebrate in are at the forefront of those blessings. Don’t miss out on the meaning of the day by allowing yourself to stress over little details. Relax and enjoy the time with your family and have a stress-free Thanksgiving!