Tricks to Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving - Sauk City, WI

Courtesy Ford hopes you have a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful chance to spend time with family and friends. But let’s face it—the preparation can be stressful. It takes a lot of work to put together such a grand feast. The good news is that there are ways to make it easier on yourself. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner.

Plan Ahead

The best advice you can follow is to start planning early. Don’t wait until the week of Thanksgiving to pick your recipes or head to the store. By planning what you’ll make early on, you can take the time to look for the best deals, plus you’ll avoid crowded grocery shopping.

Make a Schedule

One of the most frustrating things about Thanksgiving cooking is that moment where you realize you need the oven at two temperatures for two foods at the same time. Avoid these conundrums by looking carefully at cooking times before hand. In some cases, you may be able to make certain recipes ahead of time, leaving you room and oven space for the others. You’ll also want to check your turkey situation, as some turkeys need longer to thaw and more time to cook.

Take a Breather

Perhaps the best thing you can do for yourself during this busy day is take a break. Starting the morning with a relaxing cup of coffee or tea rather than diving right in. Or, ask someone else to peel the potatoes while you sit down for a rest. Giving yourself time to reset will keep you feeling good as you move forward with your day.



How to Avoid Family Stress at Thanksgiving

How to Avoid Family Stress at Thanksgiving

How to Avoid Family Stress at Thanksgiving

For many families, holidays are a great time to be together and enjoy each other’s company. But for others, this family togetherness can be a source of stress and contention. Here are a few tips on how to avoid some of this family stress at Thanksgiving.

  1. Pre-plan conversation topics. If you want to steer clear of sensitive topics, like politics and religion, try a conversation game during dinner, where everyone gets to know one another better. Try out these topics and rules from Psych Central.
  2. Make assignments. If people are busy doing a job, they are less likely to cause trouble. For example, if your aunt always complains about the menu, ask her to bring a special dish she loves, or ask the kids to help set the table or put out decorations.
  3. Plan entertainment. Boredom can easily cause problems. Have a stack of games ready to go or suggest other activities, like a pre-dessert walk.
  4. Avoid alcohol. If you have any problem drinkers in your family, let everyone know Thanksgiving will be an alcohol-free event. This might be met with some groans, but if someone who can’t handle a non-alcoholic holiday decides not to come, it might be better in the long run.
  5. Have a seating arrangement. Have placecards written out and assign seats. Be sure to place those who don’t get along well far apart from each other. You can also assign a “peacemaker” to each “troublemaker” to make sure things don’t get out of hand.

Do you have any tips on how to avoid Thanksgiving family drama?