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  • Sharon Benzvi

Are you Thanksgiving ready?

Thanksgiving is around the corner and you might be a little stressed about Thanksgiving dinner…

Mealtime can be stressful, both emotionally and physically (food wise).

Let’s break it down and dissolve the stress.

We’ll start with the emotional part –

Right now the stress is in your head. First off, don’t be over-dramatic about anything before it has even begun.

Give love even if you never got it from some of your guests in the past. It might be cheesy but in so many cases – love will bring back love.

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful so try to see the good things in your guests, even if it seems difficult.

On Thanksgiving morning, try to make a list of 5 things you’re thankful for (it’s a good habit to install any day anyway…).

If Thanksgiving is a hardholiday for you because you’re missingand remembering a loved one, bring that person with you to the table. Talk about him/her, share stories and memories. I’m sure your dinner partners will love listening and getting to know that person if they don’t know him/her or remember him/her with you.

Stressed about getting everything ready and hosting?

I have some advice for you…

1. Consider not hosting…

If hosting is too stressful for you, it’s perfectly fine to ask someone else to host this year or tell everyone that you’re going out for Thanksgiving dinner this year for a change. This will take off the stress about who’s bringing the gravy and who’s washing the dishes. Many restaurants offer a traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu.

Can’t give up hosting but want to reduce stress? Read on…

2. If you desire the home feel of Thanksgiving but want to remove the stress of cooking and cleaning, consider catering and buying disposable plates.

One year we hosted a dinner for 40 people with disposable plates and cups (Costco carries some nice ones). No one minded it… and dish washing was super easy that night:)

3. Want to make it 100% home made?

So catering is not the right fit for you, but you want to make this evening as simple as possible? Potluck is your answer!

Assign your guests with dishes – but don’t just tell everyone to bring “whatever they want" because you’ll end up with 10 pumpkin pies and no gravy!

4. Ok, so you’re a control freak like me and you want to make it all yourself…

Let’s so how we can make it more trouble-free…

Plan ahead and cook ahead.

Write the menu and try to make it as straightforward as you can. This is not the night for fancy, complicated dishes with impossible to find ingredients… Make a shopping list and purchase it all a few days ahead. Don’t procrastinate and stay organized!

Then check what can be done in advance.

Mashed potatoes – probably not. Pumpkin pie – you probably can…

Create a chart of what you’ll do each day.

If you have older kids that can assist – make them a part of the celebration.

Younger kids can help with easier tasks! Please, don’t worry if the salad is not in perfect squares, no one is interested in that. Just think of your child’s face when you’ll tell everyone at the dinner table that he/she made it. Remember, Thanksgiving is happiness, not perfection. Another task they can take on is setting and decorating the table. When I’m hosting a big table, I love to set it the morning of.

Remember – fail to plan, plan to fail.

5. Walk the talk.

If you have your own kids or you’re hosting kids, remember to lead by example.

Kids watch what you’re doing and will act accordingly.

6. Volunteer.

Enjoy part of the day volunteering and helping those in need.

Studies show that making good helps you feel good, which is a good start for Thanksgiving.

7. Enjoy! Really!

When I cook, I love to pour myself a glass of wine and listen to some upbeat, motivatingmusic. While I already enjoy cooking, this makes it even better.

When the guests arrive, enjoy the evening with them. If you still have some details to take care of in the kitchen, invite a friend or your aunt to come with you – that way you can chat and they can help you.

Relax! Have fun! That’s what everyone’s here for!

Happy Thanksgiving.


Want to read about food for Thanksgiving? Don’t forget to read part 2…

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