Week 4: Stress Free Thanksgiving – Write Out Chores, Include the Family!

Thanksgiving is two days away! I’d be really dishonest if I said I wasn’t scrambling this week to get everything done. Hosting dinner in our homes is much different than being hosted by others, isn’t it? Not only do we have to plan out every detail, we have to clean, organize, and pull it all together.

The weight of Thanksgiving DOES fall onto the hostess, but as I said in Week 3, it’s so important to include our family members, children, spouse … whoever we can get to help.

Let’s say you need extra chairs this week. Can you delegate this duty to a family member?

You need to make your centerpiece. Can you go on a family walk and ask your children to help bring the outdoors in?

The kids’ rooms are a mess. Can you give the kids a “timeline” and tell them when you expect their rooms to be picked up and vacuumed? (Yes, this can be done at a young age.)

The sweet potatoes are baked, but now what? Ask one of your kids to peel the potatoes and then store in Ziploc bags.

The table needs setting. Again, when given clear instruction (one task at a time, IE, put the water goblets by each setting) children can help!

This week … DO NOW:
1. Table: Set the table early.
2. Turkey: Thaw and prepare your turkey for roasting.
3. Groceries: Make ONE shopping run to get your last minute groceries.
4. Food prep: 1-2 days before, get your food prep done, baking sweet potatoes, making pie crusts, et.
5. Organize your cooking: Write in your notebook a cooking schedule, what needs to be done when and how you’ll use the oven.
6. Clean the house: Write a list of chores for every family member and start cleaning/checking off the list 2 days in advance. It will save your bacon!
7. Include the family: Music play list, table set, house clean, butter on the table, conversation starters if needed.

The week of Thanksgiving should be a Family Affair. Doing everything by yourself means one word: STRESS. Making all of the desserts by yourself means one word (backwards): STRESSED. My husband has helped me become a better planner. I used to wait until the last minute and would be so harried all the time, raising my voice at my family because the things “I wanted done,” had not been done.

My advice for this week is to WRITE OUT everything that you can, making a chore list for the family, including yourself.

Give everyone a timeline for when you expect it all to be done. Get your husband on board with you and make it a goal to be organized and to enjoy this beautiful day.

Thanksgiving Day is a day of gratitude and thankfulness to God and for the people who are coming to your home.

I know I am excited. More than eating the turkey, Paula Deen’s Potatoes, Parsnips and Rutabagas, and Faye’s Pecan Pie – I am excited to sit and visit for hours with my guests. To enjoy their company, to see the glow of the faces, to hear the murmuring of conversations, to smell the delicious turkey, to be gathered together around the table. A reminder of the plaque (and available to purchase if you’re interested; click on the link) that is hanging in my dining room:

The fondest memories are made gathered around the table.

What do you look forward to the most this week of Thanksgiving?

If you missed the last 3 weeks and you want a tiny bit of inspiration, you can catch up here!
Week 1: Invite, Plan, and Delegate
Week 2: Organize your Recipes and Shopping Lists
Week 3: Space, Table, and Turkey

13 comments on “Week 4: Stress Free Thanksgiving – Write Out Chores, Include the Family!”

  1. Pingback: Taking a risk by hosting an Easter dinner party | Simple Mom

  2. Let’s see:
    Table set – yep
    Pies made – yep
    Turkey defrosted and ready for the oven – yep
    Carpets cleaned – yep
    Bathroom painted – yep – yes my wife insisted that I repaint our master bathroom last night….
    Groceries bought for Thanksgiving and Open House on Saturday – yep
    Thankful for all that God has given us ? – yep
    Christmas Cards bought and ready to be finished by Sunday 11/28/10 – yep
    Ready to relax and enjoy the day ? yep
    Sending Thanksgiving Blessings to you Sandy and your family, and to all of the people who follow your wonderful blog!!!
    Blessings to you and yours
    Curtis & Sherrie

  3. “It’s not so much what’s on the table that matters, as what’s on the chairs” ~ W.S. Gilbert- one of my very favorite quotes…food is the obvious star of this holiday, but what’s the food without the people we love? When we leave the table we remember the “who” not the “what.”
    Wishing you and yours a Thanksgiving full of love & memories! (and no stress) -xo

  4. As much as I love the food I would say I love the time of just visiting and even playing games. Nothing else on the agenda but to visit with friends and family.

  5. OH My, this week is going by in a furious hurry with so much to be done. This being my first year I am learning so many things and know that next time it will be much easier… well maybe not easier, but I’ll be more organized. :) Happy Thanksgiving Friend!

  6. Sandy…I look forward to ALL being together at my twinsie’s home. I look forward to eating a fancy meal by candlelight and getting to sit and talk with my whole family!
    Thank you for all your tips!

  7. I love that sign! SO true! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I wish we could celebrate together. We are grateful for your friendship. Hugs and love!

  8. I love the sign art! It’s so true, too. I’m thinking loudly of all my American friends and family this week.

  9. Two days away? Why am I so calm??? JK, I really am making the effort to not “freak out” this year. It is just my family afterall…they’ve seen me at my worst (think 21+hours of labor). Out of the bunch, I am know to be the neat, organized one…so, if things are a little out of place, they are more comfortable actually!

  10. I’m looking forward to our newest addition to our family! What a great thing to be thankful for :)
    Thank you for your series – it is so helpful and I can’t wait to start entertaining. I’m making it a priority for the new year.

  11. Oh my gosh. You should see my Excel spreadsheet filled with colored blocks designating each dish and when I’ll be working on it over the next 2 days. All of my recipes are gathered in OneNote instead of being spread all over the place. I took the day off tomorrow so I can get as much cooking done as possible. All in order to be able to enjoy the day! Let’s hope it works! *fingers crossed*

  12. I’m looking forward to having my kids at home for a few days off. And you’re right about divvying up the chores – I’m very relaxed this year because my family has really stepped up to do a lot of their own Xmas shopping this year. My to-do list is very small!

  13. The conversations and dessert! :)

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