Thanksgiving is a holiday that centers on food and family. That’s what makes it so ironic that many family arguments and drama occurs when the family is all together. Much of it can be due to stressful situations that surround the preparation for Thanksgiving meals. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the family time together instead of worrying about logistics and food.
Prep Work Is Good Work
When it comes to a large meal, last minute just doesn’t cut it. After all, it takes several hours to just get the turkey to the table without incident. And, if it’s in the oven that means that several other things are not. That’s too much time to gnaw at your nails wondering how you’ll get it all done by mealtime.
One cure for dinnertime nerves is to do as much of the preparation in advance as you can. That includes cutting vegetables, as well as putting together dishes that can be refrigerated and baked later. Chill drinks on ice in coolers to leave room for food in the refrigerator. Freeze desserts and then let them thaw to room temperature on the table as you prepare the meal.
Use someone else’s kitchen. Since family and friends will be joining you for your holiday meal, ask those who live in town to assist with the meal. If you are responsible for the turkey, perhaps side dishes can be prepared at different venues and brought over.
Remove any unnecessary items from the refrigerator. A room may be limited, to begin with so anything like leftovers or half-full jars of condiments can be removed. Throw out leftovers (you’ll have even more soon enough) and combine condiments to make room for prepped dishes.
Where Will They Sleep?
Finding places for all of the relatives to sleep can be a daunting task. Answer this question: Who says that everyone has to stay at your home? There is nothing wrong with getting a hotel room. This doesn’t diminish your family closeness in any way. In fact, it gives everyone a way of “getting away” and relaxing from so much family time. You get a break from worrying about how the house looks and everyone gets to sleep in their own bed. By way of cleaning up, you can hit the highlights – bathrooms, living room and kitchen – and leave the private areas for later.
What Will They Do?
This is the easiest way to remove some stress. Family has come to see you, not necessarily to spend each and every day out on the town. Plan activities around the house (flag football, movie night, relaxing on the deck and other such things) that promote ease and don’t put a dent in your wallet.
Don’t let logistics and cleaning keep you from truly making memories with your family during the Thanksgiving holiday.