Gobble Gobble! The holidays are around the corner and holiday stress levels will start to rise. Thank goodness we no longer head out to the woods to catch our turkeys, pound corn or cook on open fires. We already have enough things to stress over like what will be on the menu, who’s coming to dinner, what size turkey to buy, who should sit where and the list goes on.
The holidays can be a joyous time, but they can be overwhelming at times too. To avoid unnecessary stress, I use the following tips to reduce holiday stress in my home:
- Develop a guest list. Know how many guests you will be cooking for and plan accordingly.
- Develop your menu and write your grocery list accordingly.
- Decorate a few days before. Place candles and lots of fall colors in your eating and entertainment areas. People respond positively to holiday decor.
- Plan activities for the children. It’s difficult for children to not get bored.
- Shop early. Be sure you have all items checked off your list before leaving the store. Returning to the grocery store because you’ve forgotten an item or two causes stress.
- Leave plenty of time for cooking and cleaning. Fix the dishes that take the longest to prepare first and be sure to take time to relax between dish preparations.
- Prepare as many dishes as you can the night before. Deviled eggs, green beans and corn and desserts are big on my menu, so I fix them the night before. I actually put my green beans and corn in the crock pot right before I go to bed and let them cook on low through the night. The next morning the house smells delicious.
- Reduce stress by having each family bring a covered dish. This reduces the number of dishes you will have to prepare.
- Use paper plates, cups and plastic utensils. This reduces the number of dishes you will need to clean after dinner. I also wash dishes in between dish preparation. Nothing is worst than having a sink full of dirty dishes when your guest arrive.
- Sit down with your family and enjoy the delicious dishes that you and your guess have prepared. Socializing and nourishing your body will give you the energy needed for clean up.
- Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!