Thanksgiving dinner is supposed to be about giving thanks and being grateful for the people and things in our lives.
It’s supposed to be a time of peace, of reflection, of joy. But for a lot of families it turns into a time of stress. And this stress is usually felt the most by the host of the Thanksgiving meal.
In my life…that host is me.
I do like most hosts do and start planning weeks in advance and end up slaving away for hours in the kitchen, and taking multiple trips to the grocery store for needed supplies.
I stress, lose sleep and end up frazzled and worn out by the time the meal comes around. Sure it’s “fun” and I really do enjoy spending that time with my family. But what I really want is a better version of myself at Thanksgiving than a stressed out host.
So this year my mantra is…
It will be a Calm Thanksgiving.
And it will because I have the power to make it that way. Here’s my 3 step action plan for a Calm Thanksgiving.
1. Be prepared and organized
I’m a planner by nature and this piece is not all that hard for me, I always have a Thanksgiving schedule. But, I usually jam pack my schedule full of tasks. This year, I will allow for breathing room in my schedule. I will not serve near as many side dishes and desserts, and my table might not be highly decorated because I want to carve out time during the day to relax and enjoy my family.
2. Bring People In
One of the big things I’m doing this year is hiring a housekeeper to clean my house the day my family comes in. It’s one big chore that I won’t have to do. Also, anytime someone asks me if they can help, I’ll put them to work. I’ll gladly send my husband to the grocery store for a last minute run. I’ll gladly let my mom or brother in the kitchen to chop some vegetables. You better bet my own 4 year old will be in there mixing up batter and preparing veggies if he wants to.
3. Let Go of Perfection
Part of my Thanksgiving schedule is having a certain time that dinner will be served. This year, there will still be a timeline, but I won’t stress if things don’t go according to plan. I’ll tell myself that this will be a Calm Thanksgiving and I’ll just roll with it. If the turkey is dry or the bread doesn’t rise, I won’t beat myself up over it. I’ll pass out some more Chex Mix and remind myself to be grateful for this day I get with the people I love. After all, that is what Thanksgiving is all about.