By: Bunny Young, MA, QMHP
Holidays can be a time for celebration, community, fellowship, and family. But when you spend all day laboring in the kitchen to prepare a meal and then eat for maybe 30 minutes only to spend half the night cleaning up the kitchen, it can feel a little overwhelming.
#1 Use Disposable Plates, Silverware, Napkins, EVERYTHING
I know this is not Grandmother approved or a green way of living but I can assure you that you will be judged more for leaving dish mountain in the sink or for losing your cool because no one is helping to clean up than you will for using a nice disposable paper plate. It will save money, time, and stress.
#2 Delegate Dishes
Have family coming over? Have children who like to help cook? Have a grocery store nearby? Then create a menu and next to each item decide what it is that you WANT to cook and prepare and then assign dishes to visiting friends and family or have your kids help out with their favorite dishes like cookies, or chips and salsa for the big game (e.g. Thanksgiving). Your guests will be delighted that you asked and it ensures that everyone who is coming will have at least one dish that they enjoy. Have a dish that no one signed up for? Buy it at the grocery store and call it a day. You can even put it on your own serving plate to make yourself feel better.
#3 Get a Pedicure
You are going to be on your feet most of the day no doubt; serving, cooking and hugging family members, so why not do a little pedi preparation? A smile will cover your face If you decide to go shoeless and sport your vividly colored toes. Family will compliment your paint job and all around you will feel just a little better about your labor for the day.
Tis the season, right? Put on some jams that will inspire and motivate you while you are working your tail off. Some of the best memories are created in the kitchen of family homes so why not start the tradition of crazy dance parties to get through the courses? Adele for appetizers, Elton for entrees and Dre for desserts will round out the musical entertainment!
#5 Refrigerator Tetris
Undoubtedly, there will be leftovers. Right? Plan for this by having containers for family, friends, and neighbors to take home some of the share. Do you have an outside fridge that you can use for storage? Clear it out before the day so that items easily slip onto the shelves without having to figure out a balancing act that most circuses would hire. Also most churches or shelters in the area have families or individuals who would be extremely grateful to have whatever your family cannot consume. Contact them before the big day so that you have a plan. This serves the dual function of creating a good family memory of giving back to the community.
We at LCC wish you and yours a lovely, stress-free Thanksgiving. Share your favorite holiday memories on our Facebook page. Do you need more practical tips to stay sane over the holidays? Read more here.