Planning for and hosting a festive gathering for Thanksgiving and Christmas is a trip down the stress lane but it need not always be. The best way to make holiday memories long lasting is to plan ahead so you can relax and enjoy the family. Everyone knows that making food ahead, delegating tasks and food dish preparation to others and providing a tasteful setting for conversation and connection are the most enjoyable approaches and provide the best results.
Yet there are other things we can do to ensure the best gathering ever, year after year.
1) Create the Setting
Ambiance is everything, especially when diverse personalities will be arriving to interact and engage for a family event. Putting effort into thinking about likely outcomes, and how to guide them to enjoyable memories can make a big difference for the whole family.
2) Engaging the Environment
November is a great time of month to find pyracantha berries for decorations, and kids love to go outside in search of treasures that help further the holiday mood. It also helps with giving them memories and activities with their cousins and other same-age relatives and guests. Send the kids out on a decoration-gathering mission. Colorful leaves, pine cones, and small interesting rocks can make great decorations for corners, table settings and entryways.
3) Stress is a State of Mind
Mood music, calming thoughts, and focus are important to remember when working to have the best event possible. Stress is a frame of mind. There is no problem that can't be fixed, and feeling judged can be avoided. By planning ahead, you can be sure to enjoy the festivities along with everyone else if food has been prepared ahead of time, and house decorations are attended to in small spurts before the big day arrives.
4) Organizing and Delegating
Keeping decorations in a box from year to year is a simple thing to do. Asking others to bring specific dishes and items is also simple. Thinking about these details a month ahead is a wonderful stress prevention technique. Thinking ahead is organization, even if you don't see yourself as organized. It simply works.
5) Allies and Team Players
Every family has a way of knowing who can be counted on for what. Creating strategies ahead of time to protect the tone and mood is also easily done ahead of time if some thought and planning are provided.
By thinking ahead and sharing the workload, you will feel less burdened and worn out and more likely to enjoy the holiday season!
Image credit: Joel R. Terrell