Host a Stress-Free Thanksgiving: The Holidays Don’t Have to Cause Anxiety

Often, the holidays are filled with errands, shopping and road trips to parties with loved ones where gifts are given and dishes are passed. To the naked eye, these things can bring warm memories of happy holidays of the past. To a vast number of people, the idea of the hectic holiday season brings feelings of anxiety and stress, draining any or all enjoyment from what should be a time for celebrating the old, and creating the new traditions with friends and family. A little time spent planning ahead can make hosting the Thanksgiving holiday a snap.

Cook Ahead

Rather than spending all morning and possibly even all afternoon in the kitchen, leaving almost no time to relax or perhaps catch the football game, set aside the day before Thanksgiving for preparing the side dishes that can be reheated on the big day.

Peeling and cutting up the potatoes, and even boiling them the day before will cut preparation on Thanksgiving in half. Baking the pumpkin pie and making the cranberries the day before will also save hours in the kitchen. The potatoes can be mashed over the stove with the cream and butter while the turkey finishes cooking.

Consider Convenience

Not everyone is up to preparing the big Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Grocery stores can help stock the table with hot rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes and countless other sides, all available in the deli. Jarred gravy, pre-made pies and a wide variety of wines and festive beverage mixes will make any Thanksgiving holiday memorable.

Share Responsibility

Providing a Thanksgiving feast doesn’t have to be the sole responsibility of the host. Most family traditions include bringing a dish to pass. Asking family members to cover an essential side like stuffing, dinner rolls or dessert will help take a lot of the stress out of hosting dinner this year, leaving more time to create a cozy environment for guests.

Create New Thanksgiving Traditions

Many restaurants remain open during the holidays to accommodate people who don’t want to spend the day cooking, or for those who possibly aren’t able to spend Thanksgiving with family. Ordering a pizza, Chinese food or taking the family to a local eatery can be just as rewarding as serving the standard Thanksgiving fare and may even foster new traditions.

Spending time with family is what the holidays are all about. If pulling together a large Thanksgiving dinner seems like too much, consider some of these tips to make the holidays something to enjoy, rather than dread.

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