At Thanksgiving, we all look forward to being with our families, enjoying a wonderful meal, watching a football game or two and hopefully having a few days off. But unless you are organized before, during and after the big meal itself, this yearly ritual can easily turn into a source of stress and may end up being anything but relaxing.
So here’s a few quick tips on getting ready and organized for the big day:
- Pre-organize your pantry or kitchen cabinets. Now is a great time to get all the items you will need within easy reach. Move the gravy boat, casserole trays and fall spices to the front and put those summer outdoor plates and cups away for the season.
- Plan for leftovers. Have you ever been to a Thanksgiving where there were not plenty of leftovers? Make sure you have enough travel containers to send your guest home with the goodies!
- Clean and organize ahead of time. Don’t wait until Wednesday night to vacuum your floors or put away the kid’s toys. The more organized your home is, the calmer you will feel and the more relaxed your guests will be. Maybe if your guests are relaxed the arguments about the election will be held to a minimum! (We can hope, can’t we?)
- Organize your recipes. Some of these dishes you probably only cook once a year. Don’t trust to memory or luck! You might need a spice or a type of dish that you don’t have on hand, so read through your recipes and have them all close at hand when you start cooking.
- Stick to the basics. This is not the day to experiment with a Turducken for the first time! And that exotic root dish that looks so unique but that you’ve never cooked before may be better left for a rainy weekend when you have little to do. The components of this meal are traditional for a reason; everybody likes them and expects them. Don’t mess with success!
- Ask for help. If you feel overwhelmed or just can’t do it all yourself this year, ask family or friends for help. Sometimes people don’t offer help simply because they are so used to seeing you do it all yourself. Give them a chance and put them to work!
Most of all, remember to be thankful for what you have and have a happy, safe and peaceful holiday!