Wednesday, November 19, 2008

plan for a stress free thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the start of the busy holiday season. It can be a stressful time, but only if you let it. Here are a few suggestions for taking the stress right out of your gathering.

1. The first thing to do is plan and prepare ahead of time. Sit down and make a list of the things you need to get done. Take an inventory of your supplies, dishes and cookware. Make sure you have everything you need. There is nothing more stressful than finding you don't have something on the big day! Also, plan your meal from appetizers to desserts. Make a list of the ingredients and items needed. Don't forget to plan for leftovers. Purchasing a few disposable containers can be handy to store leftovers for sharing with family and guests.

2. If you are having company at your house for Thanksgiving, set a date with your family to clean the house the week before Thanksgiving. That way you will only have to do a little touch up when the guests arrive. If you plan to have your house professionally cleaned, make sure to book your appointment early.

3. Plan your guest list to determine how many people you are going to feed. Instead of sending out elaborate invitations, consider just picking up the phone and calling each guest to invite them personally. You will get the RSVP right away!

4. Cook, bake and create as much as possible ahead of time. There is no need to spend all of your time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving while everyone else is enjoying themselves. Side dishes, pies and other items can be made ahead-of-time-items and then frozen. When needed, just defrost, heat and serve.

5. Keep everyone busy and share the workload. You do not have to do everything yourself. Enlist family members to help out and assign duties. Involve children with simple jobs. Don't forget to get help when cleaning up too.

6. Focus on what really matters. The whole point behind gathering at Thanksgiving is to give thanks and show appreciation. Take the time to enjoy the company of family and friends.

Finally, after the holidays, keep the lists you put together for organizing this Thanksgiving celebration. You can use these lists to find areas that need improvement so that next year's event is easier and even more stress-free

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