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Holiday Prep to Save the Stress

Holiday Prep to Save the Stress

Christmas is literally 8 Friday’s away, and Thanksgiving is 3 Friday’s away. Our party planning selves tell us that we need to start no later than 2 weeks in advance, so we better get a move on!

Here are our top tips to save yourself from stress during the holidays.

  • Make a Guest List: This is likely not the task you think to do first, but it’s number one and here’s why.
    • You’ll know how many you are cooking for – the kids, adults, grandpa Earl.
    • You can specify everyone’s dietary restrictions/dietary preferences – Surprise! Your cousin Viviane is now Vegan.
    • Finally, if anyone has any special requests, you have the time to find a recipe and the ingredients
  • Plan your menu: Nothing is worse than getting your turkey ready and realizing you forgot the stuffing at the store or from an expired box from last year. Planning helps you avoid the mad dash to the store before the guests arrive, and helps you get your bird in the oven on time!

    Some other tips:

    • Write your menu – You need a 30lb turkey, two things of stuffing, 3 pies, and at least 2 vegetables. And you cannot forget that Grandma loves her bread pudding, and George loves the punch. Write it all out make sure you’ve got it all covered.
    • Check for ingredients – You thought you had corn starch, but you really only have an empty box sitting in your cupboard, that cranberry sauce you have in the freezer no longer exists and someone may have taken that last box of stuffing on their shopping trip through mom’s pantry before heading to school last weekend.
    • Write a grocery list – check it twice
    • Determine what your guests can bring – We know this can be difficult but, with such a large meal, don’t turn down the help! When in doubt give them appetizer duties like a fruit or vegetable tray, or refreshments for everyone to enjoy. Remember, the less food you need to prepare, is more time for you to enjoy the evening!
  • Where is everyone staying? Another major stressor can be organizing housing for all the out of towners. Kids complain about having to share a space, and someone always needs something extra, a pillow, blanket, or towels.
    • So, prep the kids early, make sure they know where they are going to be moved to, and for how long.
    • Allow them to bring a few special items with them in the move, it will help them feel like they totally aren’t being displaced.
    • Create a schedule for linen changing and washing. Once you’ve blocked off time for it, the job becomes less daunting and everyone has time to prepare.
  • The Cleaning! Oh no not the cleaning! With all the visitors and food, odds are a good amount of clean-up may be required.
    • Remember they probably won’t be looking in your drawers, so get a game plan of all the areas everyone will be in and prioritize where you need to focus. But we do understand wanting to do a little extra, because you never know.
    • So, make a list of all the chores that need to be done before company arrives. Can you tackle anything now? Can you get the kids involved?
    • To keep things up during the stay can you assign a task to everyone? Maybe its Julie’s job to change the bathroom towels every morning, Or Joey is in charge of taking out the garbage and recycle every night. Or Billy makes sure all the animals are fed, and walked.
    It’s the little things that can get overlooked over the holidays but keeping everyone involved will help keep things under control, free up more time for you!

Here are some steps to get you started, come back in December for some more tips on surviving the holidays. Have tips to share? Send them to us!