Happy Holidays everyone!
Cheers to my favorite time of the year. This time is filled with Thanksgiving feasts and Christmas cheer, but it can also be a time of stress and overdoing. I’m trying to think and plan ahead to make things a little easier for all of us. Here are some ideas:
- Divide and conquer—If you’re planning to get together with a large group, why not pot luck it? Have a couple of key folks, the best cooks of course, to all bring their favorite dish to the dinner. That way, all of the pressure isn’t on one particular person. Give up some of the control and share the load.
- Delegate the duties—After you finish eating and having fellowship, divvy up the duties of who’s going to do what. Don’t wait for someone to ask to help with clean up; give out chores. Name one person as the dish bringer to the kitchen; another as the dishwasher loader; the next as the trash taker-outer….you get the drift. This is especially important if you’re hosting at your house and did most of the cooking. It’s only fair the others help with the clean up. Even the little ones can help with picking up crumbs or wiping the kids’ table!
- Clean as you go—While cooking and serving, go ahead and bring out the Tupperware and plastic wrap and start putting things in storage containers early. Don’t wait till the end when you have postprandial drowsiness (there’s another more common term for this 😉 )
- Why cook at all?—Unless you’re ultra-traditional and have to have the classic lay out at your house, why not consider going out or ordering in. Places like Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, and other stores have holiday or hot foods already prepared. There are many who are also choosing to go out to eat, buffet style, or fancier at their local country clubs or member clubs where you can be served like kings and queens in large parties. You can then spend your time on spending quality time, instead of cooking and cleaning.
- A Holiday “holiday”!—Some of my friends are opting to travel together to different places, like to the beach or renting a cabin, where they can eat out and be served instead of staying home. I think it’s a nice alternative and change of scenery and there’s less work involved. Make it a nice get-a-way and vacation.
- Plan ahead—If you are going to cook for a large group, plan well ahead and start making your grocery and recipe list before a couple of days beforehand. Go ahead and shop in small trips and stock up on the nonperishables and then get the perishable items closer to the date. Don’t procrastinate this year and save yourself some stress.
- Keep it light—Was last year’s holiday meal a mess because of family tension or discord? I had a patient last week mention this as her biggest fear for this year’s holiday celebration. She and her brother had a major falling out at the family gathering and really hadn’t spoken since. I encouraged her to call and try to address it before getting together, just the 2 of them separately, so there’s less of an audience, less drama and hopefully more reconciliation so the family get-together can be more pleasant. Don’t wait to bring up a 10-year long argument at the table while the turkey is being carved. Inappropriate.
So, let’s start with that. I’ll try to think of more as the weeks go by and Christmas approaches. Comment and add your own tricks if you have them.
**PS. Why not put a ticket for my #docswiner’s Presents the New Year/New You Women’s Conference on your Christmas list? Prices go up after Black Friday. Here’s the link: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/docswiner-presents-new-yearnew-you-conference-tickets-19385887712