Planning A Thanksgiving Dinner Without The Stress!
Planning a thanksgiving dinner should put a smile on anyone’s face, it is the most wonderful time of the year after all (at least in my opinion)! Cozy sweaters, new candles, pumpkin patches and cute boots! For me fall is also a kick off to an entire season of gatherings, celebrations, and delicious dinners. This year, I decided I wanted to try my hand at hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for all of my friends and family in my new home. All of a sudden I realized that thanksgiving weekend (for us Canadians) is only a week away and so far I had done….. nothing. A situation like this would usually result in a big panic for me as my anxiety and perfectionist traits love to show their ugly faces when any big event is coming up, however I created a plan to help me manage this! Part of maintaining balance in your life is learning how to do small pieces frequently, rather than everything all at once. This concept was foreign to the master procrastinator that I am, however I think I have come up with a badass plan to reduce my stress for this day! Below I will walk you through my guide to planning and hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner without the stress! Make sure to subscribe to gain access to my resource library where I have added SIX printables just for Thanksgiving! These printable planners will help you organize and prepare for the event before hand, and allow you to actually enjoy the beautiful dinner you worked so hard on.
Don’t Make a Strict Guest List:
I used to avoid hosting anything that involved a guest list because my anxious brain would repeat questions like “well if I invite them then I have to invite her”, “if I don’t invite her she will be mad” etc. I used to get so caught up in who to invite and who not to invite that I would become so stressed out I would call the whole thing off. This year I decided to take the guess work out of it – when planning this thanksgiving dinner I decided: everyone’s invited. I think sometimes we get caught up in the simple worries about having enough space and seating etc. that we forget why we were hosting something in the first place. If you have so many people who want to spend a holiday with you, take it and run! If someone has to sit on the couch to eat, or stand at a bar the show will still go on! Removing this stress for me made the process fun again, whether I have 2 or 40 people in my house I don’t care! Eat, drink, and be THANKFUL
As noted above, these words are new to me. If I don’t take the time to plan out my week prior to Thanksgiving, we will all be having Swiss Chalet because I will leave it all until the last minute! Enjoying the process of planning and hosting a dinner should be half of the fun, and it is totally doable. I find breaking up my tasks into a couple per day to be the most effective way for me to get everything done, and avoid a high level of stress. Click HERE to access my Thanksgiving Planning Guide for all of your preparation needs!
Ask For Help
As much as I wish I could say I can do it all, trying to be a hero usually results in feeling super overwhelmed. For this dinner, because my guest list was open I asked that each guest bring their favourite Thanksgiving side dish or dessert! I will make the main dishes, and my friends and family will fill in the gaps. I love this idea for a couple of reasons – 1. it balances out my workload and alleviates stress, 2. it frees up time the day of for me to actually interact with and spend time with my friends and family instead of being stuck in the kitchen, and 3. we all get to experience each others best dishes, learn new ways of preparing things, and trying something new! People like to help, when someone says “what can I bring” TELL THEM! You’ll thank me later.
Be Prepared For Things to Not Go As Planned
They almost never do. Although I do like to plan and schedule things so that I feel capable of completing the tasks at hand, don’t let yourself become a prisoner to your agenda! Events like this are supposed to be fun, if the turkey isn’t ready in time crack a bottle of wine and LET IT GO. No one will starve. If you set an expectation for perfection, you will surely be let down at some point! Allow for the unpredictable – life is more fun that way and this is usually where the best memories and stories come from.
Do Everything You Can Before The Day of The Event
As I mentioned above, why are we hosting something so beautiful if all we are doing is working while everyone else has fun? If i’m hosting something at my house, you best believe I will be having fun with the rest of ’em. If you are able to chop, cut, boil, freeze, wash, clean, or cook anything in advance DO IT. This will save you so much time, oven space, and stress and leave you so much more to be thankful for!
Head on over to my resource library and print out my planners to help you get started! If you are hosting a thanksgiving dinner, take a photo and tag @basically.balanced on instagram! I would love to see what you come up with!