Ah Thanksgiving. I remember back in the day when holidays were stress-free and I didn’t have to do anything except beg my parents to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and fall asleep to the football games later in the day. There was no cooking, no cleaning, no parties or planning around different family events. And no work. Most definitely no work.
Now though? Turns out 28 can be a hard age to be when you live away from family, have a blog, and a ton of friends that you want to cook for. Here are my top 5 tips for making Thanksgiving fun and as stress-free as possible…oh, and a pretty awesome giveaway if I do say so myself at the end!
- PLAN AHEAD – This one is probably the most daunting task of all, especially when you’re a procrastinator like me. But sitting down and planning ahead of time is probably the thing that ends up keeping me the most sane. Whether it’s planning your meal or just the day in general, knowing what to expect is huge. For the meal I will plan this weekend what I’m making and create a list of the things I’ll need to get from the store. For the day I’ll probably still plan out this weekend what I’d like to do and see, what Nate would like to do and see, and then put it all together so that we both get the holiday of our dreams. Hey, paid days off are rare – you have to make the most of it!
- DO AHEAD – It goes hand in hand with #1, but this is specific to the food part. I don’t know about you, but the grocery store the day before a major holiday is NOT a fun place to be. I’m not going to ruin the time off that we have by spending it in fear of being run over by shopping carts and cars, being tackled by the lady trying to get the last box of cornbread mix, and just becoming part of the angry masses in general. Once you get the meal (or whatever you may be contributing to a meal) down this weekend, go out and get the stuff to make it. You’ll be SO glad you did when Wednesday night rolls around and you can watch the DVRed Elf for the hundredth time since Halloween. Just me?
- PICK WHAT’S IMPORTANT – For me it’s waking up to the Thanksgiving Day parades on TV, eating a special but light breakfast and putting out the Christmas decorations. It’s taking a long walk with my husband and our pups so that the dogs get tired and Nate and I can eat more. It’s actually taking the time to straighten my hair before seeing friends and it’s ALWAYS taking time to call my parents, my sister and my Grandma to see how their day is going and letting them know they are loved and I’m thankful for them. It sounds like a lot, but pick the things that you want to do and DO them. After all Thanksgiving memories are some of the best we ever have – make them worthwhile!
- EAT WHAT YOU LOVE – I think this can be a big “DUH” one, but the reality is that there are times I eat something because it’s on the buffet, not because I really want to eat it. For me that thing is mashed potatoes. I know, I know, I hear you all groaning – but I never had them at my Thanksgiving table growing up. And while I do love me some mashed potatoes, I’d rather have that extra helping of dressing, more green bean casserole or extra rolls and butter. Putting yourself into a food coma is hard work – make it easy on yourself by doing it with the things you love to eat!
- SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE YOU LOVE – Honestly, that’s what this time is about. It’s about giving thanks and it’s about being with the people who make your heart happy. Whether it’s a phone call to your family, snuggling with your significant other, wrestling with your animal(s) or eating a feast with a ton of friends – make sure you spend time with the people you love. And the biggest part of this? Let them know that you cherish them. Life is too short to do otherwise!
So after all that – and hopefully you read through it all – what’s the giveaway? Butterball would like to make your Thanksgiving fabulous by providing a turkey for 2 readers. Whether you use it to provide the turkey for your holiday feast or use it donate to a shelter or otherwise is up to you! Just comment on this post with YOUR favorite Thanksgiving memory and/or tip! Open to US residents only – giveaway ends Friday November 18 at 11:00pm MST. Winner will be announced Saturday morning!