1. Be Santa
Meaning, make lists-yes multiple lists for different things. I start with the menu because that was/is what come easiest to me, I also find the most joy in creating this list. I made lists last year for Thanksgiving, and it saved me a lot of stress, and sometimes money. I prefer to hand write my lists because I like hand writing, and I feel like I remember things more when I write them. Here are the lists I made with a brief description if needed:
- Menu-I attach the recipes that I need to the menu to keep everything in one place.
- Grocery List-I go through each recipe and the cabinets to make my list. I find that when I go recipe by recipe those little (or sometimes major :/) things are not missed.
- Shopping List-these are nonfood related items that need to be purchased for the event. Again I check around my house before purchasing.
- Calendar week of-Last year I made several things for Thanksgiving before Thursday. It saved me time not only on Thanksgiving but stress. I include things like what to make, or what to start to assemble/chop, when to thaw things, and what to clean.
- Play Book for the Day of-plan times out with what time you want to eat. Then backwards plan. Seriously this was the best things I did last year. I posted the time schedule for foods/set up on the fridge so everyone knew :) I also enforce that time table, much to some people's irritation.
2. Be In Control
So I go ahead and assume that all families are like mine-everyone crowds in the kitchen. Last year I "took control" of Thanksgiving. And if you have cooked that meal every thing finishes at the same time, and it can be hectic. I started to get frazzled-everyone was giving input. This is my family, and I love them. I then promptly kicked them out. I made a rule, no more than three in the kitchen until it's time to eat and then I enforced it. This may be the teacher in me or the control freak in me, but it worked. I am sure I pissed some of my relatives off, but oh well. I know that there are some loved ones who don't listen, and well I just figured out away to get them the hell out of my space.
3. Something will go wrong...deal with it
Last year we forgot to turn the heat down on the turkey so it cooked in two hours less than I had scheduled. Oh well it was cooked, and things can be reheated. Learn for next year, and move on. Nothing was ruined, and everything was still delicious. I also claim that it isn't a family get together until the f bomb is dropped out of frustration. Laugh at the f'up and move on.
4. Enjoy the day
Not everything will go as planned, but as long as family or friends are around everything is fine. Don't spend the whole day in the kitchen. Have a glass (or three) of wine and enjoy making the memories. Let your day be like this: