I love the holidays. This is my favorite time of year. It also happens to be the most stressful time of year for me– the crowded stores and streets, the overwhelming list of to-do’s in my head, and the pressure of making everything perfect. The truth is, all of those stresses are avoidable. You can’t change the crowd, but you can avoid it. People can help with your list. Nobody is holding you to perfection but yourself. It’s time to make Thanksgiving about thankfulness again, instead of the what-if’s and what you haven’t done.
8 Tips And Tricks For A Stress-Free Thanksgiving:
1. Make a list.
We have all had to make a grocery run on Thanksgiving, if not multiple times because we keep forgetting things. Making a list and checking it twice, Santa-style, is the easiest way to get everything you need so that you don’t have to worry about the thing you forgot. It seems so basic, but a list is the easiest way to remember everything next time you’re at the store.
If your grocery store has an online order/pick-up situation, you get everything without driving back and forth!
2. Shop early.
If you know what you need, avoid the crowd and go a day early to the grocery store. That way you can beat the crowd and get your choice of produce. Quality ingredients will always make your food better, so why not get them before you feel like you have to fight for them?
3. Consider disposable silverware.
The Thanksgiving cleaning mountain is difficult to climb, especially after eating a heaping helping of turkey. But if you are willing to go disposable, even partially, with your dining ware you can significantly reduce your clean up. Metallic plastic “silverware” even looks like the real thing and comes in both silver and gold.
4. Don’t try new recipes.
You do not know what you will end up with while trying a new recipe. You may even miss a step. Stick with the tried and true. If you really want to try something new, take it for a test run in a small batch before the big day.
5. Delete Pinterest this week.
The last thing you need to do is try to compare yourself and your home to a staged professional photoshoot. You don’t need that stress or self-criticism in your life. Do something simple, something that you like.
6. Get some cooking out of the way.
Some dishes, especially cold ones, can be made in advance. Make any dips, spreads, sauces, desserts, casseroles, or salad dressings a day early and put them in the fridge until you are ready to reheat or eat them.
7. Ask for help.
A significant amount of stress during the holidays can come from feeling like there is too much on our plates. Simply asking someone to mash the potatoes, follow a simple recipe, set a table, or run some errands can make your life easier. Sure, they may not do thing exactly the way you like, but you can be thankful that someone is there for you, willing to help, and a part of a holiday that is all about coming together.
8. Plan for leftovers.
Get your Tupperware ready because there will be extra food. The best part about this is that you now have the next few meals figured out. If you don’t want it all, make sure to add plastic plates and tin foil to your shopping list so that you can give some food to guests as they leave.