Your Stress-Free Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day is always much anticipated. The golden-brown turkey, the sweet pumpkin pie, and the promise of laughter with family and friends is enchanting. When you host Thanksgiving dinner, however, the anticipation of fun can quickly turn to stress.
There is no question that hosting a dinner is a lot of work. Luckily, however there are a few things you can do to ensure a stress-free day. Whether this is the first Thanksgiving dinner you’re hosting or you’re a seasoned veteran, there are some tips that can make your day less stressful.
One of the most important things you can do to help alleviate stress is to prepare as much as possible ahead of time. Be sure to clean your house and set the table a day or so in advance. This will shorten your to-do list the day of Thanksgiving. You can also complete pre-cooking tasks, such as peeling vegetables or making a pie crust, the night before. Again, this gives you one less thing to do the day of Thanksgiving.
Another thing you can do to lessen your workload is request that your guests each bring a dish. This can be anything from a bottle of wine to a bowl of mashed potatoes. They will feel grateful that they are able to contribute to the day and you will have one less dish to worry about. This is a great way to get a few meal items out of the way.
Although it can be tempting to try every new recipe you see because they all look so good, make an effort to limit yourself. Keeping a simpler menu of classic foods is a great way to cut down on stress because you won’t be trying to prepare ten dishes simultaneously. There will be plenty of opportunity to try cooking new dishes in the future – they don’t all need to be made on Thanksgiving!
The day of Thanksgiving, be sure to have appetizers available for when your guests arrive. The platter can be as simple as a cheese plate someone else brought, but its presence will prevent your guests from becoming ravenous before dinner is ready. That way, if dinner is running late, your guests will have something to occupy their time, (and stomachs), until everything finishes cooking.
Finally, the most important thing you can do to mediate your stress level is to remember the meaning of Thanksgiving. It was a holiday created to spend time with friends and family and give thanks for all the great things in life. It is your guests and the atmosphere that will be remembered even more than the food. If the mashed potatoes you cooked didn’t turn out quite right, that will not ruin the great dinner you hosted.
So, remember to relax and enjoy the day even if you are responsible for the meal. And, if you have hosted a Thanksgiving meal before and have a trick that works particularly well for you, be sure to leave it in the comments below!
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