Planning for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays. It’s the few weeks before schedules and stores and programming goes nuts with parties, ads, and a push to spend. It’s the calm before the storm, and everyone is (or at least gives the impression of being) focused on gratitude. It helps that the traditional meal of turkey, dressing, and sweet potatoes is our absolute favorite meal.
But for some, it is still a crazy time of busyness, stress, and towing the line of family obligations. Instead of offering our favorite recipes or decorating tips (which you can find here if you’re interested), we thought we’d offer some tips to ease the stress.
First, plan ahead. Like, way ahead. Start now, if you haven’t already. Lots of ingredients for your meal(s) can be bought ahead of time. You can even go as far as setting up a staging area, gathering ingredients together with the recipe. Better yet, make assignments! If you have loads of family coming, make a master list of meal items, then take charge and hand out assignments.
Next, work smarter not harder. My grandmother always wanted the nice china and fancy linens out for the holidays. That looked beautiful but made her a nervous wreck when the grandchildren started having races with the dog through the dining room. Plastic plates actually hold just as much food as fancy breakable plates, and here are some that look pretty enough to fool your grandmother. Save yourself the worry of using your fancy china and decorate with pretty placemats or centerpieces. (This makes clean-up a little easier too!) And when the meal is over, make cleaning a game, and involve the kids. Give everyone a Clorox wipe or washcloth and assign a surface to wipe down. Big jobs go much faster with more hands. (Click here for our guidelines on how to clean your Amish furniture.)
Finally, remember that time together is just that – time, together. Play some calm music and put a pot of coffee or tea on. Make yourself sit still and laugh at the old uncle’s jokes, listen to the little boy’s story of his most recent adventure, or reminisce with a cousin about what happened ten years ago. In the spirit of gratefulness, make sure you’re present for moments that you will be grateful for tomorrow. The dishes can wait.
We hope these few tips serve as a reminder about what’s most important this season. And we hope you have a chance to relax and enjoy those around you.