The Authentic Assistant

A photo of a white wooden table with Thanksgiving food and decor on it. The caption reads Stress free Thanksgiving planning

Can there be such a thing as a stress free Thanksgiving? While it is an exciting holiday celebration, most people are looking forward to some time off work and school. Some may travel to visit and spend time with family and friends. 

It feels like a happy time. Yes of course, black Friday is also around this holiday and so is Cyber Monday. Although most of us have noticed that black Friday seems to last for weeks. 

For some people who are hosting Thanksgiving parties or gatherings it may be a stressful and hectic time as they try to think of everything and panic hoping they have it all organised. 

The dread of hosting people at your home and thinking all is good and then you remember that one guest has an allergy. Are some family members not talking with each other? The possibilities are endless. Then there is the realisation you did forget some important ingredient and good luck hunting grocery stores for that one item. It feels as if everyone else thought about it and have made sure they have it. Where does that leave you? 

The dread of starting the internet searches for how to substitute that if it is at all possible. 

You find yourself thinking of so many ways something can go wrong with your family or friend gathering. 

What can you do right now?

Grab one of those empty notebooks, your home binder or just some scrap paper. Don’t forget to keep it in a safe place. 

List all the guests who you invited to your party and mark all who are going to be coming. 

Are there any allergies, food aversions, vegetarian or vegan. Whatever it is, have you planned some food that can be eaten by various groups? Noone wants to make 25 different dishes. 

Do you have the grocery list of the food you will need and mark off the ones you have? Now is the time to do a stock take of what you have. If you notice something is missing then you have a chance to get it.

Items ready for decoration. Plates and cutlery, serving bowls etc. 

Is your table big enough? Do you have enough chairs?

Now is the time to do a brain dump and just write out all that you need for the party. 

Hunting and gathering for a stress free Thanksgiving

Yes it does feel like grocery shopping is like hunting and gathering. You may not always find what you are looking for but use the time you still have now to track down those elusive things. 

Going out for a walk in the beautiful Autumn weather and see what you can find to help with the decorations. Children are great at finding treasure in nature. 

Sticks can be used as cute and fun decorations, pine cones and coloured leaves. 

Is there something that you can make ahead of time and reduce the amount of work you have on the day. Are other people bringing some dishes along? Eg different pies or side dishes. 

Don’t let things get you down. Even if you have tried to think of everything and think you have it all, something can happen or you still forget something. The strange thing is no one may even notice. You are only stressing yourself out. 

Overnight guests for Thanksgiving

Do you have family or friends coming to stay overnight or even a few nights with you? Have you got everything organised for their stay? 

Are you travelling to stay with family or friends?  Have you planned out the things you need to do before you leave and what you are bringing along? 

There is still time now to double check. Don’t leave it to the last minute. 

After Thanksgiving

When the celebration is over and everything is washed, cleaned and tidied up, make yourself a cup of tea/coffee or hot chocolate and grab your notebook or paper and write down what you forgot this year. 

Did anyone bring something that you didn’t think of but was so useful. 

Forget something that was vital.

Make too much of something that no one really enjoyed. 

Anything that you wished you would have done earlier or different and why.

Was there something that a guest brought along for their stay with you that you thought was genius. Write it down for future reference. 

If you travelled and stayed somewhere else, was there something you forgot, packed too much or wished you had brought along. Jot it down. 

How to enjoy a stress free Thanksgiving

Remember this is your list for next year to simplify your next Thanksgiving party. Making the list straightaway means you won’t forget things. 

Clear your mind of all the information you are trying to remember and make way for the next event.
Yes, Christmas is just around the corner and that takes a lot of brain power at the best of times.