Let’s be real—holidays can be super stressful. TV shows, movies, and our friends’ Facebook photos give us the feeling that if our holidays don’t go 100% smoothly and aren’t completely full of love, laughter, and fun, we are doing something wrong. That’s totally not true though. The reality is that there is a lot of planning that goes into a holiday get-together or party. Anytime multiple people are working together to pull an event off, there is bound to be miscommunication, bickering, and stress. And of course when you are so busy trying to make the big day perfect, you forget to relax and enjoy the moments that count. You get so caught up in the little things that the entire night is over before you realize you did not even get to really celebrate and have a good time. Let’s all vow to make this Thanksgiving a great one. Don’t stress about the little things—in the end no one will remember if the tablecloth did or did not match the rest of the décor, or how many kinds of cookies were on the dessert table. Holidays, especially Thanksgiving, are about enjoying time with friends, family, and the important people in your life. We have compiled a few tips to help assure that your Thanksgiving goes as smoothly as possible so that you can stress less and enjoy more!
Don’t Try To Do ALL The Thanksgiving Shopping In One Trip
Plan ahead. Make multiple small trips to the grocery store rather than one big trip where you try to tackle your entire list. You’re bound to get stressed out and forget things, meaning you’ll be back at the store the next day anyway. Also consider enlisting other family members to make a trip to the store to check off some ofyour list as well.
Don’t Do All The Cooking In One Day Either!
Thanksgiving day will already be hectic enough as it is. Don’t leave all your cooking until the day of. Plan ahead and prepare dishes a day or two prior if possible. Just leave the major food items (the ones that don’t keep well overnight) for the day-of. If you attempt to make every dish the day of, in one kitchen, you will surely go out of your mind. Additionally, don’t feel like you have to do all the cooking just because you are hosting. Your guests will probably be happy to assist in meal prep. Consider sending a group message out to all guests with a list of foods you would like other people to make, and let your guests volunteer for what they can do.
Don’t Worry About the Visuals
When it comes down to it, the china dishes and table centerpieces really aren’t a big deal. If you like to be fancy, that’s fine, feel free to use your best dishes and put together a beautiful centerpiece. But, if thinking about that all just stresses you out, put some nice flowers in a vase on the table and use regular dishes! Your guests are attending the dinner to spend time with each other, not to focus on the small visual aspects of the night.
Be Okay With Not Being In Control
We can all fess up to wanting total control when hosting a party or holiday dinner, and if you don’t admit to this, you’re lying. Remind yourself that it’s OK if the items your guests want to bring aren’t necessarily what you would have chosen yourself. Be OK with dinner starting a little later than you had planned. Don't get upset if your guests stay outback throwing around the football for their annual Turkey Day scrimmage a little longer than you had planned on. Don’t get overwhelmed if little details of the night need to be changed last minute—it’ll all be okay, and the less you stress, the better. Just go with the flow, be flexible, and try not to let the small things annoy you. Getting worked up over these things only ruins the night for YOU!
Keep Politics Out of The Dinner Conversation
We all know that discussing politics can lead to big arguments. If you want to keep your Thanksgiving dinner conversation on a positive note, consider staying away from discussions on politics. If it is brought up (which, it probably will be), lightly let your guests know that it’s not the best conversation to have at the moment and suggest a new topic.
Have Entertainment for Children
As much as you might wish that the children will happily sit through an entire Thanksgiving dinner without getting antsy, you and I both know it probably won’t happen. If you are a host, either have some simple entertainment for the children on hand, or ask your guests with kids to bring some of their own. Think: board games, movies, coloring books, etc. Set the kids up with their own fun activities while the guests eat and chat.
Take A Break Between Dinner and Dessert
It can be difficult to quickly clear the dinner table and get the desserts flowing right away. And, honestly, your guests probably need some time to digest anyway. Allow your guests to take a little break after dinner—serve coffee and tea or just let them chat. With the help of a few (not too many, otherwise it will just get hectic) guests, clear the table, organize the kitchen so it’s not a total wreck later, and bring out the desserts. Do not worry that you are keeping your guests waiting—we can guarantee they won’t mind!
Ask Your Guests to Bring Tupperware
This will make packaging up leftovers a breeze because there will be enough plastic containers for everyone. And you won’t have to worry about getting your Tupperware back from guests who borrowed.
Take Photos—But Not Too Many!
Obviously we all like to have photo memories of everything, including holidays. It’s a good idea to take some photos, but don’t go crazy snapping away every five minutes. Put your phone or camera down and enjoy your time with your guests. After the night is over, ask your guests to share their own photos from the night with you so you can have copies of anything you missed.
Remember to Be Thankful!
No matter how perfectly or imperfectly your Thanksgiving dinner goes, always remember to be thankful for what you have—the material things, people, and experiences. That’s what the day is all about, right? Be thankful for the life that you are living and that you have a crazy family to spend this hectic holiday with!
We at BeSpoken Media PR hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with love and happiness. Happy Turkey Day, from us to you!