Surviving the Holidays

Thanksgiving and the holidays in general are a fun and joyful time but can also be very stressful. From the cleaning and decorating to the shopping, cooking and entertaining, there’s bound to be a mini temper tantrum or break down somewhere along the way. Here are a few ways you can ease the tension that tends to build as we get closer to welcoming our holiday guests.

Ask for help! If you have children enlist them to help you clean or set the table. Give them each a task to complete and be specific. If you don’t have children and you are too busy to clean, splurge and hire somebody to clean your house (or just the area where you’ll be entertaining). And remember, your house does not have to be spotless.

If your kids are old enough they can also assist you in the kitchen by helping with the food preparation or simply by washing the dishes as they pile up. Having your own sous chef and dishwasher is priceless! All good chefs have them!

Another way to take the pressure off is to ask everyone who’s coming to bring a dish to pass. If you know your family well enough you may know what they are good at cooking. You can assign certain dishes to each person so that you have a well-balanced meal. Or, just give each person a category such as a side dish, salad, rolls, dessert, etc.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner but there’s still time to plan especially for the rest of the holiday season. If you see items on sale that you want or need, start buying them now to avoid the rush. If you can, shop during “off peak” hours when the stores are not so crowded. You’ll be able to hear yourself think. Shopping in a crowded store or mall with a bunch of crazed shoppers is the worst.

Keep reminding yourself that everything does not have to be perfect. Relax and remember to take a breather for yourself. Enjoy the taste of the delicious food you are lucky enough to eat and take comfort in your family and friends and your loving home. That’s what makes the holidays special.