my holiday survival guide




Well, well, it's that time of year again.  I started thinking about making myself a survival guide a few weeks ago and thought I'd share it with you here.  Now if you have a family where everyone loves pitching in on the work and getting together for the holidays (jealous) then you probably won't understand my guide.  But if you don't, maybe this can help.


1.  Consider the fact that you don't even have to do the holidays.  Who says they are right for you and your family?  There is no law dictating this!  Do what works for you.

2.  Do not go into debt for the holidays.  It is not worth it.  Stand your ground.  If you cannot afford to buy presents for 8 grandchildren, DON'T.  The commercialism for this time of year has gotten ridiculous.  Buying presents that you cannot afford is no way to show someone how much you love them.  The media is wrong.  Set a budget and stick to it.  Come January you will be so freaking happy you did.

2.  But if you are "doing" the holidays then now is the time to start cleaning your house.  Do all the deep stuff now.  Move the furniture and vacuum, dust the baseboards, clean the chandeliers or light fixtures, get the tile in the bathrooms too, wash the windows.  This way the day before Thanksgiving all you have to do is a light cleaning.

3.  Organize the pantry and refrigerator.  Prepare it for the onslaught of tons of food.  It's so nice to take everything out, clean the shelves with hot soapy water and discard anything past its due.  Also a good time to make note of what you need and what needs replaced, ingredient-wise.  When all that food gets bought it's nice to put it away on clean, uncrowded shelves.  Plus everyone usually gathers in the kitchen and they'll oooh and ahhh over your sparkling work.

4.  Decide what you are going to wear.  I always forget about this and wind up too exhausted to care.  Then everyone comes over all dressed up and there I am looking pretty bad.  This year I will decide this weekend and have that outfit ready.

5.  Plan your menu and shopping list now.  Start picking up those odds and ends so you do not have to go near a grocery store within 2 days of the holiday.

6.  I like to eat outside every year.  I think it lightens the mood and because our house is so small, it gives people room to breathe.  We have a lot of squirrels and rabbits running around so they provide the entertainment.  Plus everything tastes better when eaten outdoors.

7.  Speaking of eating...if you are vegan, don't make a big deal out that fact.  Trust me no one cares.  And if there is someone there that is genuinely interested in your diet or becoming vegan, they'll talk to you aside.  Don't let this occasion turn into a heated debate, it's hard I know, but don't.

8.  Remember that there is a possibility that some of your guests find these holidays as emotionally charged as you do.  Set aside resentments and try on an attitude of gratitude.  If things get too emotional, step outside.  Take the dog or a kid for a walk, get some fresh air.  No one will miss you and you'll come back refreshed.

9.  It is possible to look like you are intently listening to someone while silently repeating the serenity prayer to yourself. :)

10.  Focus on the good.  There is always good in every situation.  You may have to look hard but you will find it.

I'd love for you to leave your best survival tips in the comments...please!


104 comments

  1. I like to have as many of the vegetable dishes prepped and some are cooked just needing to be reheated. I preset the table and move all the extra dining chairs into place. Pick and arrange the flowers or branches and pine cones...depending on my mood.
    I try to take a walk early in the day to clear my head before the crowd arrives, our house is so small when everyone gathers indoors it is quite loud so I choose some soft background music....
    I agree with all your tips Janet....and wish we could dine outdoors too. It would be an adventure and the children would love it! Your china is so pretty, what pattern is it?
    Happy Holidays.

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    1. love these leslie. esp the music in the background. so vital!

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  2. I like to have as many of the vegetable dishes prepped and some are cooked just needing to be reheated. I preset the table and move all the extra dining chairs into place. Pick and arrange the flowers or branches and pine cones...depending on my mood.
    I try to take a walk early in the day to clear my head before the crowd arrives, our house is so small when everyone gathers indoors it is quite loud so I choose some soft background music....
    I agree with all your tips Janet....and wish we could dine outdoors too. It would be an adventure and the children would love it! Your china is so pretty, what pattern is it?
    Happy Holidays.

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    1. ooops forgot to add. that is a vintage limoges teacup sitting on mikasa italian countryside with a little old english bread plate in between. :)

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  3. Good Morning Janet!

    What a well thought out guide...I've read it a couple of times already and will follow it to a tee. I'm already stretched and stressed as it is, so I refuse this year to add one more battle. I can't tell you how many times I have taken a walk and you're right, they don't miss you! It will just be me this year for thanksgiving at my in-laws so it will be very different, but I'm thankful I have them.
    Happy days to you! xo

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  4. We ditch the Turkey and opt for a platter of enchiladas and spanish rice-yum! And no pressure for that perfect meal

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  5. Janet, I am with you 100%. I used to fret and now I do not. I go very simple and if I need to buy things, I do. We don't have the thanksgiving thing one month before Christmas, so that is good! We are ready for a party here in Canada once December 25th comes. One thing I do know - do NOT be afraid to turn down invitations. Things do NOT have to be so frantic, and if they are, you have only yourself to blame for not saying "thank you very much, but we'll have to pass this time". It makes you enjoy what you do go to so much more!

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    1. i couldn't agree more on the over-scheduling. i will need to add this to my list for sure!

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  6. Excellent guide Janet, lots of sage advice. Boy, am I envious of the fact that you will eat outside. That won't be happening for another 6 months around here.

    #9 especially resonates with me. People always tell me I'm good at the small talk. The fact is, I ask a few questions here and there but mostly just let the other people talk. It's rare to find someone who doesn't want to say anything about themselves or their family. I've heard some of the same stories over and over again but I just smile and let the teller enjoy telling it. Added bonus - I never feel put on the spot myself!

    From the carnivore side of the fence I was happy to read #7. The same goes for gluten-free, nut-free, whatever dietary restrictions you have. No one wants to hear about them. If you have a life-threatening food allergy you should notify the hostess in advance and if she cannot make it safe for you to attend, send your regrets.

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    1. i think eating outside (for us) is a life saver. being cramped up inside seems to add tension. i don't know what that says about us but it's true!

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  7. Janet, I love this! What great advice.

    I used to host the big holiday meals but it just got too stressful for me. Mostly because our house isn't that big and when you have relatives that don't control their children...my husband's family has sort of gone different directions now anyway with each sibling doing their own thing because most of their kids are grown. For us, being that we only have one daughter, most holidays from now on will be spent with my future son-in-law's family. It makes it easier on them, they don't have to divide their time up between both families.

    But if I have learned anything over the years is do as much ahead as possible, which I apply to any entertaining that I might do. Holidays or not! :)

    Linda
    xo

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    1. linda, i agree, everything you can do ahead of time is key. that's the caterer in me talking!

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  8. Fantastic; I couldn't have said it better, Janet.

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  9. Dear Janet,
    This holiday season will be very different for me. My husband of 20 years passed away 7 weeks ago. I had to take my beloved cats to a no kill shelter. I also had to sell my home and move in with my daughter and her husband. All I can say is nothing is as important as a loving family. So this Thanksgiving be ever so thankful for what you have and don't stress on the small stuff. I enjoy your blog Janet, Happy Thanksgiving. April Baldwin

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    1. April,
      I am so sorry that your husband passed away. You have been through so much.
      Take care,

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    2. Oh April my heart goes out to you. Stories such as this really do put things into perspective. it isn't about the little details...it's always about love. Thank you for sharing. xo

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    3. April, I also hope you find some measure of comfort and peace this holiday season. I think a lot of people have lost someone very important to them at is what is supposed to be a festive time, or at least know the changes loss often brings. So, know you are not really alone. Best thoughts.

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    4. April, your comment really stopped me in my tracks. I feel ashamed for everything I complain about that is too much work, too stressful, too whatever. My heart goes out to you. I will pray, in my own way, that loving people adopt your dear cats and that happiness will again be yours. Namaste, Linda

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    5. I'm so sorry. Holidays are wonderful when life is easy. They can really be more than difficult when life isn't so rosy. I'll be thinking of you. PEACE

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    6. April - Sending warm wishes and hugs from Atlanta. You will be in my thoughts this holiday season.

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  10. Lovely post Janet. And so important to remember the spirit not the "sell" of most holidays now. One thing I find very helpful is to set out not just the table, but all the serving pieces, spoons, condiments etc. as well, so nothing has to be pulled out of a corner or gets forgotten. I like to have a signature cocktail so the drink thing stays simple but special. And we always have a few simple activities like a "Thankful For" bowl to keep things going if there are new guests or a minor kitchen, weather etc. delay.

    Like xoxo envy you the al fresco - in best possible way. En-JOY!

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    1. oh i so love the idea of a Thankful For bowl. So fabulous. x

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    2. Me too on many items, but especially the Thankful FOR Bowl...we'll have one of these this year!

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  11. I love your #1! Opting out is always an option. One year my husband and I couldn't afford to go back East and be with family for Christmas. I was really sad about it at the time. Christmas Day arrived and we decided to go on a hike. It was incredibly beautiful that day and so memorable. What I remember most was that we weren't alone! There were lots of other people on the trail. It was one of the most special experiences I have ever had.

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    1. we have gone to the movies a few times on christmas day and were astonished at how crowded they were. it felt kinda good. :0

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  12. Not having a kitchen made Thanksgiving easy. I made a reservation. And I hope the kitchen's not done by Christmas!

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  13. You've covered my tip already (number 9)!

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  14. Love this type of post from you. You are so practical! So inspiring! Thanks Janet!!!! xxxx Jennifer

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  15. A big one: Delegate! I am never overwhelmed by the Thanksgiving meal because everyone has their things to make and it's not all on me. I love your idea of eating outside but that would never work in this climate! I hope you enjoy your holidays!

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  16. Love it! The Serenity Prayer is my go to! And for a shortened mantra I just use 'serenity.'

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  17. Survival tips? Get help or go on vacation instead:).

    Plan backwards from the moment you want to serve, and give yourself a buffer because you will almost certainly serve later than you expected.

    Make sure someone takes all the people who like to rumpus outside:).

    Happy Thanksgiving Janet!

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  18. I was so impressed to read your cleaning-tips and planning ahead ... until I realised your holidays are not our holidays. Our begin December 24. :-D
    It is really adding extra stress, those holidays before the holidays.

    My tip?
    Don't say "no" if someone offers you a glass of champagne or sparkling wine at the beginning of a family reunion.
    Usually I don't drink before eating but after a small glass everyone seems to be much funnier and nicer company. This positive effect can switch into the opposite in case you drink too much. But the one aperetiv works very well for me.

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    1. right, both holidays are pretty major here in the states. i like your idea of the pre party cocktail. :)

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    2. PS: I am still very impressed! Even more, since you deal with 2 holidays. And a Black Friday. phew.

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  19. Loving the enchiladas idea instead of turkey! I think we will borrow that :)

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    1. yum, last year i did enchiladas and they were a big hit.

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  20. This is our first year many miles away from our family, and although we will be visiting for Christmas, Thanksgiving will be home. Just hubby, me, and our 3 year old grandson (we are his guardians). We will go out to a casual restaurant the DAY BEFORE Thanksgiving for our holiday meal, as the restaurants get very crowded around here on holidays. Then on the actual day just a quiet day at home watching old movies. Christmas will be a frenzy of activity in NY when we visit, next year we will be reversing it and visit for Thanksgiving instead, which should be better. I do minimal decorating for the holidays, no longer bake cookies (I eat too many), and try to keep things as simple as possible. My husband and I do not exchange gifts, we only give to the children and grandchildren, which is only 5 in total, and they all get cash or gift cards, as it is difficult to bring gifts on the plane, and we have very little time to shop once there. I try to stay far removed from the commercial aspects of the holiday, and focus on the real meaning instead. Loved your post, leave it to you Janet, to think of everything and then generously share it with us. I must start picking out my clothes now!

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  21. Dear Janet
    Great practical suggestions. Another couple would be to retain a sense of humour and of proportion.
    One Christmas our son was hosting family celebrations for the first time, in his Sydney home, only recently bought. He was so proud of his lovely pool and garden and planned a fabulous seafood lunch. He'd heard the freshest and best were at the fish markets, v.early in morning. Before 6.00am. Their girls were very little and DIL was tired so I volunteered to go. So glad I did. We arrived at the markets at 5.30am. All was bare. Not a car, not a soul. Were we too early? We waited and waited. Finally one or two people turned up. We were too late. The fabulous Christmas fish market had been the day before. Son was mortified. He insisted we drive around city and suburbs looking for a fish shop. We drove and drove. All closed. The only place open sold bait, not fish!
    Son decided we should drive to the coast and look for fishermen or trawlers. That's when I knew how good it was to be there. Managed to persuade him to give up and go home. He said by if he'd been by himself he probably would have driven for hours yet so we wouldn't all be disappointed
    Lots of salads by the pool and some oldish ham from back of fridge. But we laughed. And laughed. A complete disaster food-wise compared with plans, but a sense of humour can rise above all. Later in afternoon a dear friend phoned to wish us all Happy Christmas. We told him. They'd done the reverse, were carried away the day before. Bought far more than they could possibly eat - so he invited us around on Boxing Day for a feast of seafood! We had such fun despite the disaster!
    Just one other thing, it's so important to remember others who are not as fortunate. One year at the last minute our teenage son asked if he could invite an Afghan refugee he'd met somewhere. Of course we agreed. I explained to this young fellow that there was some pork in the turkey stuffing and we'd also be serving ham. He just said not to give him any ham or stuffing and he could eat the rest. He was quiet and polite and so nice. A couple of days later he sent a note to thank us, saying it had been the happiest day in his whole life. How sad that a Christmas with strangers of a different faith should be his happiest day. Best wishes, Pamela xx

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    1. oh pamela what a great story. your son is such a trooper and i'm so glad everything worked out.

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  22. Dear Janet,
    I've been reading the blog "The art of doing stuff" written by the Canadian blogger, Karen. Oh my gosh she is so funny! In the past week or so, she has several very humorous posts on taking her "Christmas Pledge" it's all about getting organized this month so we can enjoy next month with less stress. She has posted a calendar to help stay focused as well as gift suggestions, tips, etc. Check out her blog, at the very least you'll have a great laugh(s) and a lot of her commenters are hilarious, too.

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    1. yes i am familiar with her blog, she is hilarious and so talented!

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  23. I need a survival guide this holiday season. Maybe I'll hang out in some meetings. Maybe I'll read some more inspiring posts. Maybe I'll go to a movie.

    Maybe I'll live thru it.

    sounds like you will.

    xo j

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  24. This is why I read your blog. Love. Love. Love! Tips #1 & 2!!! I'm in 100% agreement with you! The holidays have become all about excess, rather than gratitude, simplicity, and love.
    Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving!

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  25. Great advice, Janet! I follow much of it myself. But regarding number 4, I can't imagine that you are ever "looking pretty bad" since you have a great, simple style.
    Claudia

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    1. thanks claudia. ha you should see me. this year i vow to do better.

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  26. Go with the flow. That is my survival tip. I work retail and only get Thanksgiving day off, so there's little time to prepare or relax and enjoy the holidays. (Ironically, I work for a gourmet food shop.) A couple years ago, the night before Thanksgiving, I was up late, grumpy and baking pies and realized I had forgot to buy pecans for my husbands favorite pecan pie. Not wanting to disappoint, my college age daughter and I got into the car and drove to the only store that was open in town, Walmart. Now this is not my favorite place to shop. So we were shocked to find that we had such fun roaming the isles at midnight ... searching for pecans, me with white flour dusted pants and shoes and sharing the store with a group of friendly Mexicans who seemed oblivious to our gluttonous holiday. And to top it all off, on our way home, it began to snow. My forgetting the pecans had turned it into the perfect Thanksgiving Eve. And to this day, my daughter and I both remember fondly the year that we went shopping at midnight on Thanksgiving Eve. And the funniest part was, we didn't even buy the pecans. We bought a pre-made pie instead. And kept it a secret from my husband, who declared it the best pie I had ever made him. Which didn't make me feel bad, but made my daughter and I laugh hysterically at the Thanksgiving table. So you never know what adventures life will bring. Go with the flow and have fun with those you love. It may sound simple and corny, but that is my tip for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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    1. I love this, Michelle, and I can imagine doing the same with my daughter. I swear, it's the mistakes that can make the holidays special, as long as you- and the people around you- can go with the flow.

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    2. So true. And the funny thing was, I would never have dreamed of serving a Walmart pie in a million years. But I was desperate. And you know, I've learned the hard way, sometimes you just have to lighten up and not take the food so seriously. It really is about spending time with friends and family.

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    3. i too love this. in fact i've been learning to go with the flow more and more. my new mantra is to not fight the universe and you know, it works! thanks for sharing your sweet story.

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  27. I've read the night before Thanksgiving is the biggest drinking night of the year. Lots of people dreading seeing family members they avoid the rest of the year haha. Well we're very thankful around here that holidays include only those that are dear to our hearts. I have so many friends that start flipping out about family situations a month before the holidays. We're too old for that nonsense. My belief is if you work at maintaining good relationships all year the holidays are just one more wonderful way to spend together and enjoy. Also now that our children are adult we let them know we don't expect or demand they be here every year. Like I said we always have fun together so if that's not during the holidays that fine.

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    1. it sounds like you have a wonderful wonderful family kathleen. you are blessed.

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  28. My children will be visiting so I'mgoing to start cooking som soups and casseroles to have ready in the freezer. Good list.

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  29. Thank you for these words of wisdom. I was ready to jettison Thanksgiving because my mother just suffered a stroke and my husband is recovering from surgery. I had become panicked even thinking about the process of getting ready while trying to visit the rehab center where my mother is 90 miles away. Then my lovely daughter-in-law offered to cook the turkey, make the pies and generally set up. I didn't even have to ask. My heart is so much lighter now and I can be thankful to have my family home, my mother alive and my husband getting stronger each day.

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    1. how sweet that your daughter in law has stepped up to the plate. wow, what a relief to you. i hope things get better with your mom and husband. it sounds like you are really being tested at the moment. much love to you.

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  30. I love your list. I wish we could eat outside. Everything does taste better! Our home is where my family gathers for Thanksgiving. I love it. I think of it as a labor of love. I am grateful for a family. People to love. I do believe that this is a time to check attitudes at the door and be more kind/considerate than necessary. We all have struggles. I think your no.2 should be expanded beyond grandparents. The phrenic search for the perfect gift ruins Christmas. I try very hard to focus on our faith and pare down expectations. It is so much more peaceful and enjoyable. So, now I am off to do a bit of cleaning and list making. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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    1. thanks kathy. i love your idea of checking the attitude at the door. good reminder!

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  31. I just finished up an early thanksgiving type week of activities. I found myself saying over and over (in my head) "It's not about me." When the kids were younger it was all about me - everything fell on me to do/make/create/facilitate. I felt like I had to be on stage 24 hours a day while all these people were in my home. Now my children are all healthy, happy adults with their own families. I can wander in and out of the house/kitchen/living areas without them even noticing as they have deep conversations and connections to each other. It felt very freeing to notice it this time and quit trying so hard. I spent much more time with the little granddaughters in their fantasy world of play.

    For food, though - I always make up some standard pre-prepared things. Because there is "the meal" but there are about 5-6 snack/breakfast/lunch meals that no one ever thinks about until they're deep in the fun and realize they're starving. I make up quiche or breakfast burritos, homemade muffins, velveeta and rotel dip, crackers/cheese/pickles/deviled eggs. And I have a standby filler rice dish that is always ready to be prepared from the pantry to stretch out leftovers. A huge bowl of homemade popcorn usually fills in one night with movies. These are things save me stress year after year.

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    1. there really is a lot of cooking for these 4 days. all the extra meals if you have people visiting and staying with you. your ideas are great though. thanks for sharing.

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  32. Janet, your list is wonderful. We don't have Thanksgiving in New Zealand, but just yesterday I reviewed my Christmas Plan which is very much simplified. I will enjoy Christmas this year and not be stressed at all, even about my passive-aggressive horrid sister in law! Point number 9 on your list made me think of her and giggle. My new favourite saying which has been saving my life lately is 'make inner peace your highest priority and you'll probably never make another mistake', from speaker Brian Tracy.

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    1. what a lovely saying fiona. so glad you are back to blogging.

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  33. Fabulous post. I have read some great books lately that have really reinforced for me that our perspective and attitude is what makes these life moments exceptional or not. So, I always try to just enjoy the moment and have low expectations:)

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    1. so true. we truly do have so much power of how we see things or interpret them. we really do just have to make up our minds to have a good time and it usually works out. thanks!

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  34. omg, you have become one of the smartest people I "know!" more later...I'm on the run...

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  35. you are so cute, I love you!

    I kind of like the lead up to Christmas! so social, so many parties, hooray!!!

    I do not feel stressed by Christmas because it means Holidays and a break from work! xxx

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    1. love you too. i know how much you love a party. and love that you get time off from work!

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  36. What a great list! You are soooo smart. You are also right to say not to make a big deal to everyone about being vegan. I am vegetarian and when I get asked over for dinner...they always say something like "You are such a weird eater. I don't know what to fix you." I always tell them...don't worry about it...fix whatever you want...I'll find something. Are you serving salad? I'll eat that and a potato or whatever vegetable...it is no big deal. But...they think I must have some meat substitute. No..I don't need anything in place of the meat. I once went to dinner at a friends who proudly said..."I made you pork chops because you don't eat meat." Really? Like a pig is not an animal? Then I felt like I was being rude when I said...I'll just eat the salad and asparagus. I was happy with that. Please, please, don't make me something special.

    My favorite Thanksgiving meal is pumpkin soup and baked acorn squash stuffed with warm cranberry rice pilaf. I don't need anything else. But when I suggest this for dinner to my friends who I now celebrate holidays with. They think I am insane.

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    1. yep so true about the dietary concerns. haha...would you like pork?!

      i love your pumpkin soup and stuffed acorn menu. so simple, so perfect. LOVE.

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  37. Also I read all the comments above and have decided I do not find cooking for a huge crowd sans dishwasher in 40 degree heat hard...I think it's because I do tonnes on mid week entertaining all year round where the prep happens before and after work. But I can see if you only action large scale family entertaining say a few times a year it would be stressful because you might be out of practice. Practice and routine are key! I do love all the Christmas food and of course I love seeing my family too x

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    1. i think it helps that you have such close knit fabulous sisters and parents. i'd love to be at one of your holidays!

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  38. thank you everyone for your fabulous suggestions!

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  39. A wise and wonderful list! And I think the serenity prayer will work better than "kill me now".

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  40. I once loved Thanksgiving and Christmas. Couldn't wait for them. Started planning waaaaay in advance. Couldn't understand all the bah-humbergs out there. Then my mom died when I was in my 30s (I'm in my late 40s now). After my mother's death I instantly became the matriarch of the family. I have my dad, two brothers (who have never married), a (wonderful) husband, and two grown sons. My sons never come home for Thanksgiving anymore. I cook myself into exhaustion every year and no one but husband ever says thank you. It's like my dad and brothers just assume this is my role. They don't help in any way. My (wonderful) husband cleans the whole mess up and no one offers to help him. I've had it. I no longer look forward to Thanksgiving or Christmas. I'm always too exhausted to enjoy them. It's a relief when they all just get the hell out of my house and that makes me feel guilty and sad.

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    1. you know anon i so appreciate your honesty. i know most of my friends do the same. we all put on that happy face but secretly begrudge all the work. there are some people who thrive on this and i admire them. but when it becomes a duty then that takes a lot of the fun out of it. becoming vegan has helped a lot as far as all the cooking. my menus are light and much easier than the whole traditional thanksgiving fare. i've thought that if i had a big family to do this for i'd start opting for the lovely restaurants that now do thanksgiving. there are several around us that have really nice menus planned. maybe that would be an option for you? again thanks for your honesty and i feel your pain. :)

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    2. Writing this post was cathartic. As soon I hit the publish button I decided we'd go to a restaurant this year. I'd never really voiced my thoughts before because I thought it made me sound selfish. Thanks for the outlet!

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  41. thanksgiving outside in the garden sounds so nice. You've got the right attitude about it too. I'll be hosting my first thanksgiving this year, but I'm not going to sweat it. Right now I'm just having fun looking for things at Portobello market for my table (setting the table is my favorite part). One vintage english ironstone gravy boat w/ plate purchased for 2 pounds. It'll be a memory too. Wishing you a wonderful day!

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    1. oh i bet your hoidays this year will be so good julie. what memories you'll be making. hopefully you'll get some snow for christmas. xo

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  42. This year, we are going to the beach. We will have presents (already purchased) and we are putting up our white Christmas lights, 2 green lit topiaries and wreaths outside on the house. Inside- shall get a scrub down before we leave so we come home to a clean, simple home.

    Keep it simple and remember the true reason for the season.

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  43. Janet,
    Thanks for this lovely post. First of all, really like your first point, that holidays are an option and you can change things up as you see fit. SO many people just think they have to go into debt and it is sad. We buy into the whole thing. We all need to realize it's about giving of yourself, not stuff. I am also liking the thought that is going around lately to boycott shops open on Thanksgiving. How can you be grateful when you are scrambling to get more?

    I very much appreciate your tips on getting the house ready for the holidays. I'm hosting so that means I should be doing those things now! Yikes.

    I've been away and missed all your great posts. Loved the last on also. I'm with you on the bland wagon. Love those neutrals.

    xxKim

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  44. Every last one of these tips are right on time!
    #4 is one that I struggle with every year.
    #7 is one piece of advice I must remember since I have became vegan for food and personal products. My husband and sons support me but the rest of my family will complain about it so I will not mention it. Since they are eating at my house for Thanksgiving I am cooking quite a few animal free side dishes and since I am a great cook they won't know the difference anyway, lol.

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  45. Hey Janet. Love the list - great points. One thing I've decided is to move the party for friends from Christmas to January. There are already tons of get-togethers around Christmas and everyone is usually stressed and tired. Plus, here in the South, January is rather dismal, so having a party gives everyone something to look forward to when it's so ick outside.

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  46. Laughter is the best medicine.
    pve

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  47. Happy Thanksgiving, my dear inspiration!
    http://ratherthanfacebook.blogspot.co.at/2013/11/test-run.html

    ReplyDelete

kindness is never out of style.

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