Thanksgiving meals are a source of celebration - and, for busy moms, sometimes stress.
There’s no better way to start off the holiday season than with a family feast, but all moms know the amount of planning, preparation, and work that goes into pulling off dinner for twelve without a hitch. Rather than let the holidays become a source of anxiety, busy moms can use these tips to ensure a stress-free Thanksgiving Day celebration.
For many, the holidays this year may look a little different.
Though some families may choose to practice safety measures and still gather together around the dinner table this year, that won’t be the case for everyone.
Traveling for the holidays can seem daunting right now, and many families may choose to skip the close-quarters celebrations altogether. That doesn’t mean they can’t spend time together, though!
Planning a virtual celebration for the first time might feel overwhelming and stressful, but we can still spend quality time with our families.
For a smooth transition to virtual celebration, make sure everyone keeps time zones in mind! Sending online calendar invitations will automatically sync them together.
Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, or Facetime all make for a great way to see your family (almost) face-to-face! Each household can use a laptop instead of individual phones to make for an easier connection.
If you usually watch a movie together, Teleparty is a great resource. It’s a Chrome browser extension that syncs up Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, or HBO movies so everyone is watching at the same time. Each person can also pause the movie, or open the chat box for commentary!
If your family is spending the holidays together in person, here are some ways to make planning your celebration a little more tranquil.
First, step back, take a deep breath, and relax - you’ve got this.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and there’s no better time than the present to start planning for the perfect family dinner. So let’s start with the basics of hosting: the decorations.
You and your family gather together to experience gratitude, togetherness, and each other. Charming fall decor doesn’t have to be expensive - your Aunt Lucille will love you all the same whether or not you shell out for brand new, store-bought decorations ahead of time. So, you’ve got a few options:
If you have a little more time on your hands in the weeks leading up to the big day, you can get your kids involved. Thanksgiving crafts abound: spend some time outdoors gathering materials for pinecone wreaths, or go traditional with classic yarn crafts like these pom-pom pumpkins!
If you’ve on the busier side (in other words: life is absolutely hectic lately!), you can always keep it simple: small pumpkins, squashes, gourds, and clementines make for the perfect charming blend of fall colors. They’re affordable and keep for days - you can arrange them at the dining room table or even adorn the mantle.
Keep the drinks simple.
We all see the recipes for the perfect, cinnamon-y, nutmeg-y, this-will-make-your-life-look-so-put-together seasonal cocktails, but when you’re keeping track of the kids, the invitations, the scheduling, the cooking, and the cleanup, saving those big batch recipes for a different autumn occasion starts to make a little more sense.
There are so many perfect crisp apple ciders, warming stouts, and perfectly paired wines to choose from when it comes to keeping your guests happy. And remember, hosting is a big job - there’s nothing wrong with encouraging your guests to bring their own favorites!
Now, the big stuff - the food.
Forget the fancy appetizers that fill your guests up and take up precious oven space - setting out bowls of chips, candy, or fruit will go over just as well. That leaves you room to focus on the main event - dinner.
Remember that you’re there to celebrate family, and being part of a family means being part of a team. That means that you, as host, are the captain - but no team would be successful if every other player sat on the sidelines. Ask your family to bring their favorite side dishes so you can focus on a few big-ticket items done right.
Keeping it simple helps to not get overwhelmed. We know that practicing mindfulness creates peace - center yourself and remember that you and your family are there, above all, to see each other and practice gratitude.
Celebrate your new, stress-free Thanksgiving with tangible reminders of gratitude, positive energy, and mindfulness.
Every day, you make the choice to prioritize serenity, even on the holidays. Allowing yourself to celebrate your stress-free thanksgiving is a gift! Treat it as such.
Shop intentional gifts for your “Gratitude Session”
You and your loved ones can keep a physical reminder throughout the holidays to practice mindfulness and choose peace. Beautiful tangible reminders like gemstone jewelry hold strong energies of peace, acceptance, and tranquility, allowing you to carry those intentions through the holiday season.
So much of the holidays center around rituals. On Thanksgiving Day, families often share what they’re most thankful for. You can go above and beyond by sharing these gifts, helping each person focus their energy on intentionally practicing gratitude in day-to-day life, not just on one day of the year.
Mindfulness and stress-free living go hand in hand.
Allow yourself to shake off the thought that you have to do everything yourself, and give your family the gift of time spent together and gorgeous reminders of gratitude. At Daria Day, we hope to encourage and facilitate lifestyles of mindfulness and serenity, even throughout the most hectic holidays.
For more tips on how to usher peace into your own life this holiday season, subscribe to our newsletter.