It’s nearly that time of year again. The leaves are yellowing, the air outside has a slight chill, and the smell of pumpkin-spiced lattes fills your local coffee shop. Thanksgiving Day is right around the corner.
For some, the upcoming holiday is cause for celebration. But for most Americans, the day signals a more complicated emotion: stress. When you aren’t juggling cooking tasks, you’re worried about finishing the baking. When the family members aren’t bickering over politics, they’re fighting about who gets the last helping of mashed potatoes. The whole thing can coalesce into a tense, anxiety-inducing marathon of food and family.
But this year’s going to be different. Follow the simple tips below to take the stress out of Thanksgiving Day.
For some reason, millions of Americans each year bite off more than they can chew. But why? When you order in instead of cooking, you get 1) more options, 2) professionally cooked (i.e. delicious) food, and 3) the chance to sit back and enjoy the holiday.
Order fried chicken from a well-reviewed fried chicken restaurant as your poultry element. Grab pasta and garlic bread from a local Italian joint for your carb dishes. And order salads from that hip new vegan restaurant to get your veggies. If you’re ordering from numerous restaurants, find a delivery platform like getREEF that offers fee-less delivery from several local joints. If you’re in Miami, for instance, just look up getREEF Miami to get started.
This year, put away the roasting pan and let someone else do the cooking. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much stress you’ll save by simply ordering in.
Set Off-Limits Topics
With the stress of cooking out of the equation, you can turn to that other common Thanksgiving stressor: arguments.
If you aren’t interested in having your holiday derailed by in-fighting, consider making a list of “off-limits topics.” You can write them on a whiteboard near the dinner table, post them to a corkboard, or (if you want to approach it playfully) make individual place cards for each plate on the table. Topics might include: politics, the pandemic or your cousin’s new boyfriend.
Instead of doing everything alone, which can get hectic, delegate tasks to your family and guests. Put one person in charge of the music. Appoint another person as bartender. Get someone to help you set the table or plate the delivery food.
When everyone pitches in, the gathering feels more communal and convivial. Plus, shifting some work off your plate allows you to take breathers and enjoy the company.
Pre-Make Your Drinks
Everyone appreciates a thoughtful drink or two with their Thanksgiving Day meal. If you want to impress your guests without spending all your time juicing limes in the kitchen, consider pre-making a couple of pitchers of cocktails.
Country Living has a fantastic list of Thanksgiving cocktails, like Mezcal Negronis and Spiced Cranberry punch. Simply multiply the recipes by eight (or however many you want to make) and refrigerate your cocktail pitchers before guests arrive.
A stress-free, fun and delicious Thanksgiving is well within your reach. Now that’s something to be thankful for!