This year, especially more than before, I’ve been searching for ways to simplify the holidays so that I can actually enjoy them with my family. I’m sure you’ve felt the pressures during the holidays to do activities that you don’t enjoy just for tradition, or to cook a million dishes, or give a million gifts. This year I’m not having any of it, I’m done with spending my time doing things I don’t want to instead of focusing on my family. Last month I shared my ideas for a simple Halloween, and today I’m sharing my tips to have a simple Thanksgiving.
Buy pre-cooked and don’t feel guilty.
It can be so, so very easy to get lost in having a perfectly traditional menu for Thanksgiving, from Turkey to yams to green beans and back. Who even likes all of that stuff? Take note of past years and what kind of leftovers you had. This year there will be no green bean casserole, and I’m sure no one will miss it! For my dinner spread I bought pre-cooked chickens, pies, and the vegetables are a frozen mix from good ol’ Trader Joes. Guess what? It was all delicious!
Focus on your guests.
Giving up some of the responsibilities of major cooking during Thanksgiving will allow you to focus more time on your guests. While you may not have time to greet each one as they arrive, try to work the room and spend just a couple of minutes with each one. Let them know you are thankful for their presence.
Actually accept help.
You know those people who walk in the door and say, “Do you need help with anything?”. Sometimes they are asking just to be nice, but somewhere in there, someone really wants to help. Loosen the reins and take advantage of the extra set of hands. I am usually strong-willed when it comes to this and every single time I kick myself after, thinking the extra help would have been nice.
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Are the holidays stressing you out? What do you do to make your Thanksgiving more simple?