Am I the only one who feels the days are suddenly stuck in fast-forward mode? It was Halloween. I blinked. And now Thanksgiving is upon us! The next four weeks are going to fly by, too!
Between school, dance, robotics, parties, and volunteering we have a jam-packed schedule. That plus holiday preparation is a recipe for stress! To keep my anxiety down I have collected a few tricks over the years to make the holidays more enjoyable for everyone (if mama ain't happy, no one's happy–am I right?!?).
Five Quick Tips for an Anxiety Free Thanksgiving
1. Ask for help. There's no reason why one person (namely you!) has to cook the entire holiday meal by themselves. Prepare the turkey, ham, or whatever the main dish will be and ask each guest to bring a side dish or dessert.
Or order a pre-made dinner that you just need to warm up before serving.
Wouldn't it be a nice change to enjoy your holiday instead of being stuck in the kitchen cooking all day? And don't forget about the clean-up! Ask for volunteers to stick around after dinner to help put away food, load the dishwasher, and gather the trash and take it out to the garbage can. After all “Many hands make light work”.
2. It's okay to use shortcuts. The true purpose of Thanksgiving is to spend time with family and friends. And sometimes the shortcut is even better than the original! No one but you will know you swapped out granny's special mac and cheese. Especially when you use this amazing New RAGÚ® Butter Parmesan Sauce! Made with real butter and aged parmesan, you'd never guess the sauce wasn't homemade!
This Real Deal 3-Minute Mac makes the perfect accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner! The mac and cheese is quick and easy to make, and so very tasty no one will believe it came from a jar. And with it's simple flavors even the pickiest eaters will be thankful for this tasty side dish!
3. Keep some snacks handy. Just in case dinner isn't on schedule, be sure to have a few snack foods out. You don't want hangry relatives milling about while you are trying to get dinner on the table. But you also don't want people filling up on heavy snacks and not leaving room for dinner!
These Chimichurri Baked Pea Crisps from Peeled Snacks will make a yummy and satisfying treat. With the bright, bold flavor of Chimichurri these naturally gluten-free snacks are made from an organic pea base that contains 4 grams plant-based protein and ½ cup of veggies per serving. Hearty enough to tide people over until dinner is ready, but light enough they won't be too full to eat turkey with all the fixins.
4. Don’t forget the kids. Most-likely your holiday event will include children. Add a fun “Kids Only” table off to the side from where the grown-up will be hanging out, stocked with some special kid-friendly treats and activities, like coloring pages and crayons, small-bite treats, and fun games/toys to play with.
Or, enlist a favorite aunt or cousin to engage the kids in making a fun treat like some Soft Salty Pretzels from The Joys of Baking: Recipes and Stories for a Sweet Life cookbook by Samantha Seneviratne from Running Press.
The Joys of Baking is a delightful, engaging cookbook containing the author’s personal stories alongside straightforward recipes, gorgeous photographs, and instructions on techniques and guides geared toward bakers of any skill level. This would make a great gift for the baker in your life!
5. Keep everyone safe. Another essential ingredient for a stress-free meal is to have clearly labeled food and drinks, especially if someone has food allergies or special dietary restrictions. Click here for these cute printable food cards to place in front of serving dishes.
Did you know that with the exception of a single report of a coconut oil allergy contained in a baby formula published in 1994, there are no reports of food allergy to coconut oil published in the medical literature? So you can feel confident in using Nutiva Squeezable Coconut Oil for your cooking.
Nutiva is USDA certified organic, non GMO verified, and KETO certified, and their squeezable pouch packaging uses less materials and produces fewer CO2 emissions than glass and plastic jars. They come in two varieties, Nutiva Squeezable Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and Nutiva Squeezable Organic Steam Refined Coconut Oil.
The Nutiva Squeezable Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is cold-pressed right after harvesting. Creating a pure, smooth oil with a light coconut flavor. The Nutiva Squeezable Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is the perfect substitute for butter and vegetable oils in your day-to-day cooking and baking.
Made from organic dried coconut, the expeller-pressed Squeezable Organic Steam Refined Coconut Oil is steam-refined without chemicals. Which results in a neutral scent and flavor that makes it a very versatile culinary oil. With a higher smoke point than Virgin Coconut Oil, the Refined Coconut Oil can be used as an alternative to butter and vegetable oils when cooking.
Plan for Emergencies. Have a “just in case” stash in the pantry: extra napkins, paper towels, plastic cutlery, toothpicks, cups, and tape. Don't forget to restock your first aid kit, as well. You never know what might happen and it's great to be prepared.
Hope these tips will help you have a anxiety-free holiday and allow you to enjoy your dinner as much as your guests!