Let these tips help you achieve a more relaxed holiday this year, enjoy your vacation time, don’t let is get you stressed out!
Holidays year round can be stressful as you scurry to fix shop for food, fix meals, and decorate as well as make sure the house is spotless.
But Thanksgiving and Christmas always seem to be the most stressful especially if you are having family and friends over to dinner.
With some planning and good strategies you can relax and enjoy the holidays more.
Setting up a Plan
To help ease your mind of the thought “what if I forget something,” let’s set up a plan:
- – Guest List
- – Decorating
- – Menu
- – Shopping
- – Cleaning
- – Cooking
The Guest List
Knowing how many guests you will have relieves that feeling of never having enough food. I always anticipate five to seven more guests showing up than what I received commitments from.
Sometimes it is a chore to decorate for Thanksgiving (especially for those of you that start Christmas decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving). So if you are short on time or money, get a nice fall arrangement for your table, or be creative and make a nice centerpiece.
For those of you that go all out decorating for both holidays, plan ahead so that’s one item out of your way when it’s time to start cooking.
The menu can be one of the most difficult things to plan. There are so many wonderful dishes to prepare for Thanksgiving or Christmas that we sometimes plan dishes that take more creative time or that there just isn’t enough time to make.
Consider your guests that offer to bring a dish. If you are having a family and friend get together, let your guests bring their favorite dishes. Or better yet, tell them what dish they make that you love and ask them to bring it. Most of your guests will love participating in the meal and showing off one of their favorite dishes.
Tips for Cleaning
When I do my cleaning, I concentrate on the areas that my guests will be in and use. Don’t worry about perfection and every nook and cranny in the house. If you can afford it, relieve that stress by hiring your cleaning done before and after the holidays.
Tips for Shopping
It’s nice to be able to pick up dry and bulk items ahead of time. I work them into my normal shopping routine and save buying the products that are required fresh a couple of days prior to cooking.
Tips for Cooking
I like to make my desserts ahead of time, so I choose pies and cakes that have a longer shelf life. I also prepare refrigerated items at least a day before the dinner. Also check your recipes for items that can be cooked ahead of time and warmed before dinner.
For baking ease, use disposable baking pans. I especially like the ones that have the grip handles on the sides.
A few other stress reducing tips you might do well with over the holidays:
- Set your table the day before
- Use seating name tags if you have guest you prefer to keep separated
- If you’re trying out new recipes, test them a couple of weeks in advance
Remember to breathe and enjoy your holidays and try some of the stress tips. Take time out to have a hot bath or a massage. The more relaxed you are, the more enjoyable your dinner will be.