Holiday Planning – Part 1

19 Nov

Greetings from Shorter Designs! This is the first part of a two-part newsletter. The rest of it will appear in December.

I was talking with a friend the other day, and she stated, “The conversation I dread all year happened yesterday. My husband said to me, ‘My parents want to have Thanksgiving at our house. What do you think?’”

For most of us, Thanksgiving is the beginning of the most stressful time of year. There are parties to attend, gifts to buy, company coming over, and seasonal traditions to observe. With a little preparation, the holidays won’t be so overwhelming. Here are some helpful ideas to get you started on your plans.

First of all, think back on your favorite holiday celebrations. What were the elements involved? Was it the food you loved most? Was it catching up with family or friends? Was it games you played? Once you have considered this, make a list of those things that you value most and plan around them.

Secondly, make a list of a proposed itinerary. Be sure to include food preparation, eating, social time, and traditions in your list.

Now that your schedule is made, think through each element in sequence. If you are beginning your time together by cooking, plan the menu. Write down everything you and your family could possibly want to have, and assign dishes to family members. There are a couple of ways to do this. One way is that you can just tell people what to bring if your family is okay with that. If that will not go over well, then have people choose what they want to bring and mark it off your master list.

Next, make a grocery list of all the ingredients you need to buy for the dishes you are fixing. Include beverages, ice, and plastic ware (if necessary). Go ahead and mark your calendar stating when you will go to the grocery store. One to three days before the holiday is best so food is still fresh when you purchase it. If you are buying a turkey, call your grocer a week before your meal to see if you need to reserve one.

There may be some things that you can prepare the day before to save time. Desserts, casseroles, and many other recipes can be made in advance, refrigerated overnight, and warmed up the next day.

Stay tuned until next month for more on organizing your holidays!

Here are some great things to do in November:

  • Make sure your yard and house is ready for the winter. Bring all tools inside, cover your flowerbeds with mulch, and test your heating system and space heaters to verify they all work.
  • Start Christmas shopping if you haven’t already begun.
  • Review your children’s holiday schedules to be sure you have all of their important dates on your family calendar (such as school plays, days out of school, parties, exams, etc.).
  • Think about volunteering somewhere over the holiday season and talk it over with a friend or family member to see about doing it together. It’s a great time of year to give back to your community!

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