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Make Thanksgiving Special This Year

November 6, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThanksgiving is a time for family and memories. So why is it that we have such high expectations there’s no way to measure up? Often it’s not expectations others have but those that we have of ourselves. Here’s some ways to make the most of the holiday.

Look for casseroles that can be made ahead, frozen then just placed in the oven on Thanksgiving. Some things must wait until that day – cooking the turkey or stuffing for example. But if you have 2-3 dishes that you can prepare ahead of time and stick in the oven that day to warm up, it saves you work on the big day. It allows time with family and friends. This can include the pies! Make them the day before. Look at sites such as kraftfoods.com or Pillsbury.com to find dishes that are tasty and yet can spread your work load out. Remember you can adapt the recipes to home grown ingredients!

Planning helps! Plan your menu and the week before get whatever items you don’t already have on hand. This not only allows for advanced preparation but also insures that on Thanksgiving you have everything you need without a last minute dash to whatever store you can find open.

Prioritize your list. Here’s a priority check: “If I don’t do this thing, what will happen?” If you don’t get the turkey you can’t make dinner. If you don’t get the special table trinkets, chances are no one will notice. Focus on a simple but great meal and the company at the table and it will be much easier and much less stressful!

If you have a bread machine consider letting it make the rolls or bread. Keep decorating and meals simple. Sometimes the time saver might be asking someone else to bring a dish that might be a traditional favorite or asking for help in the kitchen.

Decorating need not be elaborate. A wide range of fall colors are inexpensive with simple placemats ($1 each at Dollar General) and a few other touches sets the scene.

With more time and less stress it lets you truly enjoy the day and make memories! To spread the thankfulness invite someone who would otherwise be alone on the holiday. Perhaps it’s someone from church or someone you know of who lost a family member this year. Make it a tradition.

A tradition in one family was before the meal everyone brought up something they were thankful for over the last year. This is a nice way to bring up conversation, focus on our blessings and really hold close the thanks in Thanksgiving.

Make it a simple, organized holiday. This can be far more memorable than a perfect table setting! Enjoy the day.

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