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Taking Stress Off the Thanksgiving Table

Taking Stress Off the Thanksgiving Table

But what if you could actually take the stress off the table and enjoy the day? Here are some suggestions on how to make that happen:

  • Let go of the need for Thanksgiving dinner perfection. Television commercials and magazines portray Thanksgiving dinners in a way that's not always realistic for most of us. You don't need fine china and fancy desserts to enjoy the day. Do the best you can and remember the true meaning of the day — gratitude.
  • Ask for help. Just because you're hosting doesn't mean you have to do all the work. Assign desserts and side dishes to your guests that are easy to heat up and serve. If you have multiple guests with dietary restrictions, ask them to bring a dish they can eat.
  • Plan ahead. Nothing adds stress more than last minute shopping and preparation. Plan to buy your turkey and other items well in advance. Also, if possible, get out all your serving dishes and set your table a few days before the big day.
  • Recruit a cleanup crew. The only thing more stressful than preparing a big meal is cleaning up afterwards. Don't be afraid to ask your guests for assistance. After sitting and eating so much, they may relish the opportunity to get up and help.
  • Get some exercise. Nothing relieves stress better than physical activity. If weather permits, go outside and have a family football game or a nice walk in fresh air.
  • Order a pre-made Thanksgiving meal. If you want to alleviate the stress of cooking a turkey, you can have someone else do it. It may cost you more, but you'll save time and will have less to worry about.
  • Dine out. Another option is to go out for Thanksgiving dinner. If you choose to do so, you'll want to plan ahead and make reservations well in advance.

No matter how you choose to simplify, the important thing is that you take the time to stop and enjoy the meaning of the day. So go ahead ... start taking your steps to de-stress Thanksgiving today. You'll be thankful you did.

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