How To Have A Stress Free Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day when you enjoy time with your favorite people and allow yourself to be grateful for all of the love and happiness you have managed to find. The problem that many people encounter is that they spend so much time running around on Thanksgiving Day, trying to get the meal and house prepared, that they find the holiday stressful rather than enjoyable.
This year, you should commit yourself to a stress free Thanksgiving Day. It really isn’t difficult. You just need to follow these simple instructions.
Prepare a Menu
Several weeks before the holiday, you need to sit down and create a menu. Try to stick to simple, tasty dishes you know everyone will enjoy. Preparing the menu weeks in advance accomplishes a few different things. It lets you purchase supplies in advance and it makes it possible for you to confer with your guests and arrange for them to bring part of the meal. When you talk to your guests, you’ll find they’re eager to help out and might even have suggestions about how you can make your menu easier.
Choose Your Dishes with Care
Instead of using the fine China and transferring food from one dish to another, choose dishes that you can transfer directly from the oven to the table in your country kitchen.
Not only will this drastically lower the number of dishes that need to be cleaned after you eat, but it also saves you a great deal time. Whenever possible you should stick to dishes that can be washed in the dishwasher. If the same dishes that you cooked in and served the food in can also be used to store the leftovers, you’ll save more time and energy.
Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate
There’s no rule that says you have to handle everything by yourself. It’s okay to ask your guests to help set the table, wash dishes, and even help with food preparation. In fact, you might even find that they enjoy it and that it strengthens the bond you share with your loved ones.
Start Cooking in Advance
You don’t have to prepare all the food on the same day. Cakes, pies, and homemade breads taste just as good two days after they’ve been baked, and preparing them in advance is a great way to reduce your work and stress load on Thanksgiving Day in your country kitchen. The more cooking you’re able to get done in the days leading up to the holiday, the more relaxed you’ll be.
You will be surprised by how far in advance you can make some dishes. For example, your cranberry sauce can be made a full week before Thanksgiving and will still taste good. Yams and potatoes can be peeled and boiled the day before you intend on roasting them.
Keep the Decorations Simple
It’s a special day and you want the house to look extra nice, but you should curb your instinct to hang all sorts of festive decorations. Instead you should stick to simple country decor touches. A vase of sunflowers makes a lovely and simple centerpiece for your table in your country kitchen and a few strategically placed candles will give your home a comfortable, country feel. It’s also a good idea to use some of the same decorations you intend to keep up for the Christmas holiday.
When things don’t go exactly the way you expect them to, don’t get worked up about the error, instead look for the humor in the situation and allow yourself to laugh. Not only will the laughter make you and your guests feel more at ease, but you’ll also find that it helps release endorphins which make you feel good.
Wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving Day!