Enjoying Turkey Day With Less Stress
By Donna Stark
The stress of the holidays is upon us and the first big celebration of the season is literally right around the corner. For some, that simply means it will soon be time to hop in the car and head over as an invited guest for the big Thanksgiving meal. But for others, that means if they haven't started yet, they're already behind with all of the planning and prepping it takes to create a meal fit for kings (or loved ones). So what about you? Are you the guest this year or the host?
Staying Calm, Cool, and Collected
If you are the host, planning the perfect Thanksgiving meal can seem extremely overwhelming, especially if you are feeding a crowd. And on top of that, if you have been looking at pictures online or watching one cooking show after the next, I am sure you have precise visions of how everything should end up looking, right? Talk about pressure! Thanksgiving is chaotic enough without the added stress, so do yourself a favor and follow a few of the suggestions below.
- Plan ahead - Send your invites out and get an estimated number of how many people will attend. Then, create a very general plan a couple of weeks in advance. Think about favorite dishes, dietary restrictions, and nutritional balance for the meal, as well as paper products, chair and table rentals, and accommodations for out of town guests for the event. Make sure all the shopping is done ahead of time so that your frozen turkey has time to thaw too!
- Delegate - You're not the only one who will be eating, so don't be afraid to ask for help! Assign different parts of the meal (appetizers, side dishes, bread, desserts, and beverages) to those who will be attending. Not only will this help to lighten your load, but it's also a great way for everyone to try different recipes.
- Spread it out - Don't save all the prepping, chopping, and cooking for the morning of Thanksgiving ... give yourself a break and start earlier in the week! Go over your menu and see which tasks can be completed ahead of time. Things like chopping vegetables, baking pies, or mashing potatoes can always be done a day or two in advance.
Enjoying Thanksgiving Day
The key idea here is to find different ways to alleviate some of the stress that can come with hosting a big event. Breaking the tasks down into manageable pieces and doing as much as possible before the day arrives will help to decrease any last-minute emergencies. So take control of the day and give yourself time to enjoy it with those you love most.
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