Unless you are Martha Stewart, the holiday season can be daunting and downright stressful. If you’re the hostess feeling the pressure, here are a few tips to help ensure a more Thankful-filled Thanksgiving.
Know your limits
For many of us, creating the feast is a one-woman show. So, remember this is your show. Set the tone that works best for you and your crew. Cut down on cleanup by choosing festive paper products. Don’t stress out over looking good, only to create a bunch of work for yourself. For years I used my best china only to find out that it made my guests feel uncomfortable. They preferred the casual and easy tone of tossing a plate out instead of wondering which fork to use. Sometimes you worry about looking good and forget to have fun. People will be understanding, in fact, they may wholeheartedly embrace it! They can always feast somewhere else if their expectations are a little too lofty, right?
Ask for help
If you don’t want the stress of fixing 8 side dishes and turkey too, ask others to contribute to the feast. If you decide you want to make the whole meal, ask others to help set the table and clean up afterward. Don’t fall into the trap of staying silent only to become completely frustrated by the time dinner finally rolls around.
Think of Thanksgiving as a marathon, not a sprint. Create the menu and do the bulk of your grocery shopping a few days before the crowds turn into madness. When you plan ahead, you’ll make fewer mistakes. Create what can be made ahead of time to allow yourself more free time on Thursday afternoon to visit with your loved ones.You deserve to enjoy the holiday, too!
Know your guests
When setting the table, place conflicting people away from each other. You want your guests to feel at ease and enjoy themselves, not be ambushed into heated political discussions or be hit on by the new divorcee. Avoid trouble before it can start.
Time to be thankful
Nothing brings people closer together than creating good memories. Encourage your group to write down what they’re thankful for and share some of their favorite memories. It will bring out the giggles, and it’s important for the kids present to hear about their family’s history. Turn off the cell phones and enjoy your company: stress-free.