Thanksgiving Stress Busters

Woman serving a Thanksgiving turkey

Enjoy your family holiday get together stress free by following these Thanksgiving stress busters.

Tips to Reduce Thanksgiving Stress

Thanksgiving is a time of family traditions, great food and happy times. Yet for many people, it is also a time filled with stress. This is especially true if you are the person in charge of planning and preparing the Thanksgiving meal. Read on to find ways of reducing the stress of the holiday, so you too can enjoy this special celebration with your family and loved ones.

Make Plans in Advance

  • Make plans and lists for your Thanksgiving day gathering well in advance. By making plans, and writing things down, you eliminate much of the holiday stress you would otherwise experience worrying about what you need to do.
  • First, make a list of the guests so you know how much food you are going to need. Once you invite your guests and know how many people are attending, allow for two or three extra guests.
  • Check with your guests to see if there is a special dish they would like to bring or if anyone has any special dietary needs.
  • Plan your menu and make a list of all the food you are going to serve divided into categories such as main course and side dishes, appetizers, desserts and beverages. Once you know the foods you are going to serve make a shopping list. If you are not sure about the ingredients of a particular dish, check the recipe and write down any ingredients you will need.
  • Make a list of other items you will need for Thanksgiving such as paper goods, flowers and decorations. Include extra paper towels on the list.
  • When you purchase the items on your lists, cross them off.
  • Make a plan that includes the days and time you are going to shop, cook and clean.

Prepare Ahead

  • By choosing foods you can prepare ahead of time you will feel less stressed on Thanksgiving than you would if you were trying to cook everything that day. Depending on the recipe foods such as mashed potatoes and homemade rolls can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Choose deserts that can be prepared ahead. There are many different types of desserts such as pies, cakes, cookies and puddings that can be made days in advance.
  • If you are planning on making a dish for Thanksgiving dinner that is new to you, make it at least once before the holiday dinner. This way if the recipe does not come out the way you thought it would, you have plenty of time to make adjustments and try the recipe again or choose a completely different one.
  • Make a seating chart and use name placards to assign seats to your guests. This eliminates the chance of two people that are always bickering or arguing from ending up sitting next to one another.
  • Take out your serving pieces, linens and other holiday items a few days before Thanksgiving to make sure you have everything you need for the upcoming dinner. Do the same with your dinnerware, glassware and silverware. If you do not use your dining room table on an everyday basis, you can lay everything out there to see if anything needs cleaning, polishing or ironing.
  • On the evening before Thanksgiving, set your table for the following day's meal. If you have pets in the house, use a clean tablecloth to cover the place settings.

More Holiday Tips to Reduce Stress

  • Make a budget and stick to it. Avoid impulse buying when you are shopping for food and holiday decorations.
  • You want your house to look neat, clean and organized for your guests on Thanksgiving. Do not try to do everything yourself, delegate household chores to family members. Clear away all the clutter, and then prioritize the rest of the cleaning that needs to be done. Focus your energy on areas where your guests are going to be.
  • If the budget allows hire a cleaning service to spruce up your home.
  • Make sure you get plenty of rest. Without the proper amount of sleep, you will feel tired and cranky. You will not be able to enjoy the holiday and the time with you loved ones.

A Stress-Free Thanksgiving for Everyone

By putting these Thanksgiving stress busters to use, you will feel relaxed and stress free. When you feel happy and relaxed, so will your guests, and that's bound to make the holiday more enjoyable for everyone.

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Thanksgiving Stress Busters