Be honest – does the fact that it’s almost Thanksgiving Day cause your heart to skip a beat of joy or panic?! If the answer is the latter, stick around because I’ve learned a few secrets to help us actually enjoy it and kick that stress to the curb! Here are a few tips to get rid of the drama and enjoy Thanksgiving week with your people.
Enjoy Thanksgiving & cut the stress
I’ve written before about my first experiences with Thanksgiving as a new bride. I was so thrilled to finally own a home that I wanted to host both sides of our family. At the time, that was a lot of folks and it was so stressful! I pulled it off, but after that year, I swore that there had to be a better way. Each year got better and better as I realized that it just takes a different mindset and a tiny bit of planning.
The 1st order of business is answering this question:
Will your family be the hosts or guests for the Thanksgiving meal this year?
Notice that I included your immediate family in that question. You know, those people that live under your roof?! Whether it’s just you and the hubs or a houseful o’ folks, everyone can pitch in to make the burden just a little lighter for the host.
The 2nd order of business is to answer this question:
How will I set the tone for the Thanksgiving holiday this year?
Our family often takes its cues on how to react to stress and drama from us. My prayer is that we can have the mindset of peace, love, and thankfulness as we gather with others during this special season. Join me?! We have no idea the impact that our humble spirit might have on someone at the big gathering that does not know Christ.
Simple steps to Thanksgiving
If your family is not hosting Thanksgiving, you must find out right away how many people will be at the celebration. Ask the hosting family what dishes they want you to bring. Skip below to the “think about it” section.
If your family is hosting Thanksgiving, figure out how many people are coming. Decide which meats, sides, and desserts you’d like to have at the Thanksgiving meal. Do not complicate this! Make a list of who can bring what and then ask them to do so. Do not try to cook everything yourself. Unless you have a chef’s professional kitchen and staff, it’s almost possible to have meats, sides, and desserts all warm and ready to serve a crowd all by yourself.
In order to enjoy Thanksgiving, do the following tips below before the Monday before Thanksgiving!!!
Think about it
Whether you are the guest or the host, be sure to download my super simple Meal Planner printable. Gather opinions from your people and then choose enough meat, sides, and desserts to feed your crowd (or choose a food if you are a guest). Leave room beside each dish to add the person’s name that will be making that food. Be sure to involve everyone. Even little kids can help with easy recipes.
Choose those recipes
Once you’ve decided which dishes you and your family will be making, decide the best recipe to make it. Gather all of your recipes together and have fun. I just happen to have a fabulous turkey recipe, pie crust, pecan pie, and apple pie recipe you can use. You know that if I use these recipes, they’ve got to be easy!
Write that grocery list
Write out your grocery list now that you know what you will be cooking. My suggestion is to use the back of your Thanksgiving Meal Planner printable to list your grocery items. Don’t put it off – go grocery shopping a.s.a.p.! You’ll be glad you did when next week rolls around.
Speaking of next week, on Monday I’ll be sharing exactly what we’re eating for our Thanksgiving meal and what to thaw out and cook ahead of time. I’ll also share some ideas for Thanksgiving games and fun the whole family will enjoy. It’s going to be a Happy Thanksgiving this year – just you wait and see!
Are you and your family hosts or guests this Thanksgiving? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!