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Less Stress, More Gratitude This Thanksgiving

November 17, 2016 9:36 pm

Everyone has their favorite holiday. Some love the summer sparkle of July 4th, some the magical spirit of the Christmas and Hanukkah season, and some the spooky antics of Halloween. While those holidays are all indeed wonderful in their own right, Thanksgiving is quite possibly the very best holiday of all.

Why? Because Thanksgiving boils down to the simplest yet most meaningful of pleasures: food, family and gratitude. No lavish decorations, no presents, no raucous parties or overblown expectations. We simply come together with those we’re closest to, prepare a great meal together, join around a table and reflect on all we have to be thankful for.

With that as a premise, it doesn’t take much to turn your home into an optimal environment for celebrating Thanksgiving. Here are some great ways to enhance your day while avoiding some of the stress that comes with hosting:

Plan for seating. Instead of scrambling to pull together disparate chairs to outfit your table, consider renting chairs, and, if needed, an extra table. Rentals are usually reasonably priced and can be quickly dressed up with table linens. This ensures everyone will have enough room, providing a comfortable setting that will entice them to linger longer after dinner.

Set up stations. Sides, wine, cider, gravy boats, and, of course, the main attraction, the turkey, can overwhelm your dining room table. Instead, suggests, set up a buffet area for dinner items, a station for drinks, and another side table for desserts. Not only will this beautifully display the meal, it makes for a spacious table, reducing spilling hazards.

Emphasize the thankful part. A common Thanksgiving practice is to have each guest proclaim what they’re most thankful for. This year, consider a new twist on that idea. Better Homes and Gardens offers some creative ideas, such as asking guests to select a cut-out leaf and write down what they’re thankful for, or as the host, creating place cards with each of your guest’s names and a brief note of why you’re thankful for that person.

Invite interaction beyond the table. Avoid the after-dinner turkey coma in front of the TV by leaving out a deck of cards or board game, or by heading up a game of charades. Even better, weather permitting, get everyone into the yard for a classic round of touch football, or take a leisurely walk around the neighborhood.

Switch off for cleanup. If you took the lead on cooking the meal, make sure someone else takes the lead on cleanup. This way you’ll all be able to spend some time relaxing with guests as opposed to being relegated to the kitchen for the entire day. To build even more togetherness into the day, a team effort pre and post dinner is the ultimate way to go.

Contact our office today for more tips to help take the stress out of Thanksgiving.

Published with permission from RISMedia.