Our "Thankful Tree" each leaf has something we are thankful for written on it
Hosting a holiday meal can be very stressful, but it doesn't have to be. Let me tell you, I am no stranger to stress! I am also not a very organized person. These two qualities that I possess can really come up against me during the holiday season and make me miserable if I allow them to. So here are some tips that I have for hosting a more relaxed holiday dinner.
The first thing I suggest is gathering all of your recipes and ingredients that you will need to buy a few weeks before the meal. Next, plan on getting your groceries in small trips. I started stocking up on the non-perishables about two weeks ahead of time. Just each time I went to the store I would grab a few things. Spices, canned soup, broth, flour, sugar, things like that. As the day gets closer you can start picking up more items and then finally get the refrigerated items a day or two before hand.
One thing I really hate about holidays is when the host has to spend the whole day in the kitchen. I don't like to miss out on the whole day and I also don't enjoy the stress of trying to get everything done in a limited amount of time. For this reason, I prepare as many of the dishes as I am able the day before. Stick them in the fridge, and the next day you can relax while the meat cooks and just toss side dishes in the oven as mealtime approaches! I did this for Christmas last year and it was so nice! My mother-in-law came over and asked me what I needed help with and I couldn't think of anything! We got to enjoy the day chatting and playing games. Here are the items I prepared yesterday:
sweet pea casserole
corn with wild rice
sweet potato casserole
brined the turkey
This morning I simply rinsed and stuffed the turkey and stuck it in the oven. Now all I have left to make are the mashed potatoes and the rolls which I will start on in just a minute here.
The last suggestion I have to make is to not stress about the housework! With three kids underfoot and a husband who drops things where ever he may stand, I just do not have the time or energy to worry about my house being perfect. Besides, we are home schoolers and so there are always going to be papers and books lying around. The walls are covered in kids drawings and school work. We don't have a house that belongs in a magazine, but you know what? Who cares?! The most important thing is spending time with the people you love and they are not going to care if your shelves aren't all dusted or if there are toys in the living room. They will enjoy the day much more if you are relaxed and energetic and so will you! I know that when I worry too much about the little things I am a much more irritable person and that is just no way to be on any day, but particularly on a holiday!
So enjoy your day, don't sweat the small stuff, be with your family. Wholly.
~ Make each day count ~