De-stressing the holidays

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

I looked at the calendar this morning and just about freaked out. The fact that we are already in the middle of November sent a total crazy-chill down my spin. Because the weather has been so nice at my house these last couple of days, the thought of basting the baking turkey and decorating the house in a festive way totally slipped my mind. We’re also recovering from our pet tragedy. But, there’s no stopping it. The holidays are just days away.

This year I was planning on keeping things pretty low-key for Thanksgiving, but I say that every year and then end up going all out – roasting up a huge turkey and making all the fixings. I spend the whole day cleaning and cooking for friends to come over, eat, mess the place up, and leave. Then, just days later, all the Christmas decorations go up and it’s time to clean the house from top-to-bottom so everything sparkles all over again. The babe’s already pulled down our fall leaf garland and added it to her toy pile. I can’t imagine what she’ll do to a Christmas tree!

I’m twitching just thinking about it.

Last year, my daughter was barely walking, so wasn’t that much of a threat to holiday cooking and preparation. Now I’ve got an almost-two-year-old that isn’t always in the best of moods to contend with, too.


I know I’m not alone. There are other mammas out there that pull off stunning holiday meals and look nice and put together at the same time. So, where are they? What do they have to say? Will they come over and cook MY turkey? I found a couple of ladies that were willing to honestly share what stresses them out most during the holidays, which at least helped me feel less freaked-out and caused me to giggle and snort. One mom even suggested moving to a location (like North Dakota) no family wants to visit to avoid all the fuss-and muss!

But, what about all that cooking?! My oven can only hold so much! I decided to get the guests on board for the holiday meal. I can roast the turkey, make the stuffing, and easily mash those potatoes with the baby hanging on my leg – but baking that perfect pumpkin pie? No thanks. Someone else can be in charge of that! I made a couple of calls and evenly distributed sides and desserts to those attending. Yeah, yeah, there was some grumbling, but if you want green-bean casserole on Thanksgiving, bring it yourself!

Also, instead of spending hours making appetizers, I decided to keep it simple. And, thanks to the Motherboard, hooked up with some great ideas that would please everyone (including me), take no time to prepare and wont bust my budget, either!

That gets me through Thanksgiving.

Now, Christmas. That’s a whole other beast.

2 thoughts on “De-stressing the holidays

  1. Good for you, that you have seen the light 😉 I love the Holidays, but when it gets to the point where it causes more pain than joy, it’s time to re-evaluate the work you feel obligated to put into it. Plus, I’m sure your friends and family will appreciate being able to actually enjoy time with you, instead of hiding and laboring in the kitchen.

    My go-to lazy appetizer is always a big cheese board. You just unwrap the hunks of cheese before guests arrive so they can come to room temperature, throw a variety of crackers down, and maybe offer up another plate of grapes, nuts, proscuitto, etc. No cooking. Yay.

    I also set up a small beverage station so I don’t need to worry about checking whether people have drinks.

    Hope your Thanksgiving goes great! Gobble gobble!

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