Thanksgiving is supposed to be about being thankful for your blessings and appreciating your loved ones, but it often turns into a day of crotchety attitudes and arguments as family members don’t get enough sleep and take on too much. Planning a huge, elaborate meal to try to impress the family and then squabbling and gracing everyone with a bad mood can ruin the celebration and make you miss out on good times. Kids will pick up on this and magnify your attitudes, making for a disastrous day. A little simplifying can do a world of good.
Plan Ahead, Prep Ahead
Instead of leaving everything for Thanksgiving Day, it may be helpful to do the majority of the work the day ahead. The turkey doesn’t necessary have to be cooked on Thanksgiving, you can actually cook it the day before. If you have to work, you can just throw it in the oven after you get home and refrigerate it over night, doing the carving and preparing in the morning. If you have enough time, you can even carve the turkey and make the gravy, heating the turkey in the gravy in the oven the next day for a simple, painless preparation.
Nearly all of the sides can be prepared ahead of time, too. Mashed Potatoes, green bean casserole, candied yams, and salads can all be easily made ahead of time and simply heated or mixed before serving. Pies and desserts are equally delicious when made ahead. Doing the heavy lifting the day before will give you more time to enjoy your family’s company.
When there is a houseful of people stewing around bored, it can make for a stressful environment, especially when coupled with a mass meal preparation. Making sure that there is ample entertainment for the kids and adults can be a relief for everyone involved. Designating a television for video games for the kids, or better yet setting up a few games outdoors, can help to ease the pressure and make the holiday more fun for everyone.