Thanksgiving used to be a break from stress and a day of healing and thankfulness. What ever happened to it? It seems the modern Thanksgiving is filled with stress and worry over everything being perfect. The people who are supposed to be appreciating each other often end up in screaming matches, arguing over ridiculous things such as who forgot to check on the pies and whose stuffing tastes better. If this sounds like your house at Thanksgiving maybe you could use these tips on enjoying a stress free Thanksgiving celebration.
Don’t try to do it all. Thanksgiving is about sharing our bounty and our responsibilities. Be sure that all the stress and duties are not loaded onto one person, even if that person is yourself.
Each Thanksgiving guest should be responsible for contributing at least one food item. Plan ahead so there is no question about who is bringing what.
Make as much ahead of time as possible. Pies and other desserts can often be made the night before. So can many casseroles and side dishes. Eliminate stress from throwing everything together at the last minute.
Don’t stress about each and every item. Thanksgiving isn’t about the food so much as the people sharing it. It’s OK to have two different kinds of stuffing, cranberries or whatever. Variety is the spice of life.
It really doesn’t matter whether your tablecloth and napkins match or if silverware is being used for the proper purpose. Stress is wasted on things of this nature.
Dinner isn’t ready yet and the stress level is building. People are hungry and impatient. Give them something to do aside from bickering with each other. This might be a good time to ask for help, serve appetizers, or bring out a game.
Be sure to include kids in some of the cooking duties. They can do small things like filling dishes with pickles and olives or whipping cream for the desserts. Give them a sense of accomplishment and keep them busy to lower your stress level.
When you’re all ready to sit down to dinner, take a moment to give thanks to the cooks for all the wonderful food they worked so hard to prepare. Think about having each person talk about what they are most thankful for. Keep the true spirit of Thanksgiving alive.
This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.