Yesterday was Thanksgiving. How are you all feeling? Cheery? Excited for the season? Perhaps a little bit like you got run over by a bus full of your extended family?
I feel amazing. I was determined to make holidays easier on myself this year, and I did it. I'm well-rested with a stocked refrigerator, and we're headed out to pick up a tree. My house is reasonably clean, everybody's happy (except perhaps the crazy ones who were up shopping at 4am) and I spent a good deal of one-on-one time with my grandma and grandpa on Thanksgiving.
I do have a little secret to confess. I didn't cook yesterday. Grandma isn't well enough to man the kitchen this year and I knew that I couldn't manage it while juggling a toddler and baby. Not gonna happen. So when Dickey's Barbecue Pit called and asked if they could make holidays easier by providing a holiday meal for the Day family, we were ALL over that.
Nate and I picked up a ham, turkey, rolls, trays of cornbread dressing, green beans with bacon, baked potato casserole and gravy. A little over $100 includes everything needed to feed a hungry family of 12. We got twice that, and everybody has leftovers for weeks.
All that I had to do was pop it all in the oven to heat and serve! The rest of the family whipped up some of their traditional favorites as well. Mom's mandarin orange salad is to die for and she made a ton of gluten-free goodies, Lindsey's homemade pumpkin pie and whipped cream is a must-have, and Doug even surprised us by cooking up a MASSIVE turkey of his own to serve as the centerpiece of our festivities. Potluck-style Thanksgiving takes the pressure off of one person.
Grandma said that this was the best Thanksgiving meal she's had. After 70-someodd years, that's saying a LOT.
Make Holidays Easier On Your Family
- Be Realistic. Going into this season, I knew that I couldn't handle a whole lot of complicated DIY festivities. There's grace in acknowledging your own capacity.
- Prioritize. Sit down with your family and decide which traditions are a must-have for you. I insist on homemade fudge and Nate absolutely has to have a REAL Christmas tree. Those are areas where we don't budge, and we make time to enjoy those aspects of the season.
- Hire it out. In areas that aren't essential priorities for you, get help! Ordering a ready-to-go meal gave me the freedom to enjoy a day with my family. You can also get assistance in things like pre-wrapped gifts and holiday card services that address the envelopes and ship them straight to your recipients. Pay the neighbor kid $20 to hang your lights. Be creative and find ways to let other people pitch in. No time to bake? Get pre-cooked sugar cookies and a tub of pre-made frosting so you can still enjoy cookie decorating time with the kids, without the aggravation of a ton of dishes.
- Delegate. I happily hand over my children to their grandparents when I need an afternoon to myself, and I send Nate to the store with a list because I know he's a more efficient, focused shopper than I am. Learn to recognize when you need help, and don't be afraid to ask for it.
- Schedule. Whip out a calendar and write down exactly who is going to do what on which day. Clear communication and expectations will make holidays easier on everyone.
So you can spend more time with cousins.
When you make holidays easier, you have more cuddling with the little ones.
More attention to what really matters.
How can you make holidays easier on yourself this season?