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I remember how I used to stress out year after year. This anxiety began right after Halloween madness. Somehow I always volunteered to host the Thanksgiving dinner at my house, and somehow, every year more and more people attended the feast. I remember the last Thanksgiving that I cooked for was for 38 people.  What was I thinking? The truth is...I wasn't.

If you know what I'm talking about, and beginning to hyperventilate about a feast at your house this Thursday, it is time to take a deep breath. Holidays should be an enjoyable and happy occasion.

Here is the list that helped me get through year after year without hiccups:

Thankgiving

Plan ahead, and involve everyone in your house. This is a family event, and if your kids are old enough to walk, they are old enough to help.

Obtain a folder and name it "Thanksgiving." In this folder you want to keep copies of recipes, guest lists, notes, table arrangements, centerpiece ideas, and anything else that has to do with your party. You can keep reusing this folder for years to come.

Make a list of everything that needs to be bought and pulled from storage, the garage, or upper shelves.

Don't leave for tomorrow what you can do today, after all ladies, today is Tuesday.
Do as much as possible ahead of time, so that you will be stress free on the day of the party.

Plan on decorating the outside of your home to make guests feel welcome. You should decorate with the spirit of the season in mind.

Think through all of the decorations for the inside of your home. Visit various websites to get decorative ideas, recipes, and games.

Design a menu and a guest list for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Decide on your perfect centerpiece and make sure you have everything you need.  

Ordering centerpieces ahead of time is always a good idea if you are not making them yourself.

By now, everyone that is coming should of RSVP, so here comes the hard part. Sitting arrangements. It's not an easy task sometimes, do your best to sit people at your dinner table so they enjoy each other's company.  

Check your china, utensils, linens, etc.

Think of serene background music to play at the party. Don't forget to make sure your audio equipment is working correctly.

Make a detailed list of the cooking schedule. You will need to know at what time you are making pies, salads and baking your turkey.

But if you REALLY want a stress-free Thanksgiving, do what we have been doing for the past nine years... get away from it all. I understand it is not traditional, but it is a great way to bring the family together, spend some quality time with each other, and get a few days of vacation under your belt.  

So off to Cabo I go....

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Nov 24, 2009
    • I take it this year your off on holiday and letting a hotel take the strain ..... estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Joenetta Bisset wrote Nov 24, 2009
    • Jana

      Although we have never celebrated Thanksgiving, your tips are great, ty

      Joenetta



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Encee wrote Nov 24, 2009
    • Love the folder idea!  

      Happy Thanksgiving!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jo46 wrote Nov 24, 2009
    • Love the Cabo idea!!!!  Personally we will be celebrating at my sister-in-laws.  I usually bring 2 side dishes because everytime I ask what I should bring she always says .“whatever is easy!”



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Geralyn Schulkind wrote Nov 24, 2009
    • Cabo!!!  Wow, that’s another thing to be thankful for!!  I always delegate!!  Usually whatever the guests want to bring, but yes, I make a list to be sure all is covered!  Oops that reminds me I need to get some brown sugar for those sweet potatoes...I do set the table, the day before and just relax!!  It will be what it will be!  And isn’t everyday Thanksgiving???  estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Nov 24, 2009


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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Darlene Sabella wrote Nov 24, 2009
    • Great article, I loved it, estatic I don’t bake pies, but I love the soft music, and the way you organize everything before the dinner.  Thanks for sharing.  Darski



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Nov 24, 2009
    • I’m great at delegating everything, except my kitchen chores. I feel weird when guests bring anything, I think it’s the Russian thing in me...no one knew about pot luck until we got here, and by then my mother taught me “If you invite, you cook“, you can bitch and moan along the way, but you are pretty much on your own.  I love the kitchen, so cooking for me is therapy.

      Gals, don’t forget to enter out competition and ask everyone you know to vote for you.  

      http://fabulously40.com/post/id/decorating-your-thanksgiving-table-contest-6561

      Follow this link and enter.

      Happy Thanksgiving.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deb Darby wrote Nov 24, 2009
    • Niiiiice Yana!
      Where do you like to stay in Cabo?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne Lyken-Garner wrote Nov 25, 2009
    • Great list, Yana. I always like to delegate, delegate, delegate.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Nov 25, 2009
    • Okay just looked cabo up and it looks amazing  

      [Link Removed] have a great time and soak up some sun for me


      Ukgirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Nov 25, 2009
    • I love being invited for Thanksgiving dinner where I get to bring something and help in the kitchen when I get there. Being involved in making the dinner, setting the table and filling the serving dishes is holiday festive fun. ;o))  I have Susan Boyle’s cd to listen to today while I clean and prep for cooking  tomorrow.  

      Cathie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lynnie5963 wrote Nov 25, 2009
    • We have Thanksgiving at my in laws so we all bring a dish or dessert.  I will be making my apple pies this year.  

       Happy Thanksgiving all!!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Nov 25, 2009
    • I stopped stressing about the day many years ago. I always involved the children and the one holiday that everyone came to my house they had to bring a dish and I cooked the meat. It was a great day.

      This year I am getting away.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Nov 25, 2009
    • My mom put us older kids to work too and we loved it. In my first marriage we went to my in-laws when we lived in California and I helped in the kitchen for cooking and clean up. I
      am writing between putting away my tool clutter and making room for tomorrow. I don’t
      bake from scratch anymore. Lynnie’s apple pies sounds good! 47, where you headed out
      to for tomorrow?  

      Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  

      Cathie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Nov 25, 2009
    • Great ideas Yana..this year we will be at a relative’s home, but the Cabo idea sounds wonderful..enjoy!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda Hendricks wrote Nov 25, 2009
    • I’m all for the Cabo idea.... great post and tips....

      This year I just had major surgery a couple of weeks ago and what does my other half do?.... invite his whole family for Thanksgiving... AND they all are staying over starting Wednesday... gotta love a man...

      but I kept it pretty stress free... your tips are the same as mine... I’m all for planning too... and I do a lot ahead...so far it’s working out... at least he did the most of the shopping and all the cleaning...

      Have fun in Cabo!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Songbird wrote Nov 26, 2009
    • What a great planner! I am big on list making and a planner myself.  

      I used to be so stress out when it comes to traveling especially when our kids were still young. As time went by, I develop lists and ideas for packing and for entertaining our kids on long flights,etc.

      Now, I have a count down list, from weeks to days to hours before leaving the house.

      I get to attend to as much details as I can like bring emergency contact no. with me to using up the perishable food in the fridge to making sure that we gets the cats in the house when we close the garage door just before we leave, in case they get trapped in there with no food/water.  

      It might not sound important to plan so well, but if you do, you will thank God for not having that anxiety, fretting over whether or not you should close your garage door and run for the flight. And that you need not worry your whole journey and upon your return that you might find your cat dead in the garage from hunger/thirst.

      I do use all this planner tips for parties when I have one. As for Thanksgiving, my angel daughter, the gourmet cook is doing it this year. :)

      HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL! Have the best time of your life - NOW!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Faye43 wrote Dec 12, 2009
    • I love to cook.....and eat so holidays are fun for me estatic



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