Stress Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is next week, are you ready? I’m sure not! With it being my second year hosting, I want a successful day without the stress. If you are having the same problem as I am or just need reminded of some shortcuts, take a deep breath and let’s get started.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. Delegation is always your first big time saver! Ask  your guests to bring something, a desert or a side is always a great choice. Put children to work setting tables or helping to prepare the simple dishes. Getting everyone involved makes them feel like they are part of the celebration and helps save you time, money and stress.

Stick to the classic sides. If you have the extra time to be adventurous, go for it! But the time alone recipe-hunting on Pinterest could have been used for more important things. Simplicity is fine! Every family has one item that is home to them and keep in mind your guests might enjoy the traditional sides. If it works, don’t mess with it. Everyone wants to be stuffed and satisfied on this holiday.

Prep ahead.  Head to grocery stores the weekend before and you will be glad you did. You can avoid the rush of last-minute shoppers and begin food prep early. Make and freeze casseroles, dressings and desserts ahead of time. Keep in mind there is nothing wrong with boxed stuffing, pre-made soft rolls, or anything that cuts corners and still makes for a delicious meal.

Décor can also be simple and festive. Bring the outdoors inside and use small pumpkins, branches, and foliage for a natural table centerpiece. The kids will have a blast helping with décor and they can be rewarded with some sweet treats. One fun décor idea that would take no time at all is creating a photo booth for guests with cutout props. I plan on making pilgrim hats, cornucopia, corn cobs, pumpkin pie cutouts and anything else. Guests will have fun and photo memories to share for the future. Sounds simple right? If you find yourself still stressing over the day and its duties, ask for help.  That’s what family is for!

OK, tables are set and food is ready. Let’s eat, visit, and eat some more. Be thankful for a fun, simple meal and family to share it with. Happy Thanksgiving!

Originally featured on Real Deals Magazine web site.