There's 8 days to Thanksgiving and 35 days to Christmas. Pretty soon everyone's houses are going to be filled with relatives whether you like it or not. Don't get me wrong. Having family around is great but extended stays have a way of heightening our emotions which can make us do things we don't always think through. Luckily for you, my family is large and extended and it is a guarantee that someone will get mad at the other person over something so tiny no one will remember it or somebody will get stressed to the point of a full explosion. Whether your outburst ends up as part of the family history album or not remains to be seen but the following ideas should help avoid it as much as possible.
The most obvious is easy. Walk away from the situation or confrontation before anything escalates to something you or the other person can't take back. There's only one thing you've got to keep in mind. If you're the smart one and decide to walk away the person you're fighting with isn't going to let you get away that easy (unless in the rare case that they actually do). They're going to try to keep it going but you've got to take the power away. Leave the room, let everyone cool down, and maybe gently approach the topic later. Trust me, you'll both be in a much better headspace if you both take the time to back away from the situation and see it in the other's perspective.
Does anyone remember mom's rule: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all? Spoiler alert: mom was right. This is on of the few full-proof way to avoid everything. Sometimes it's best to keep your thoughts to yourself or discuss them in private. When the whole family's around things can turn sour fast then there's no going back and you've got to ride the wave all the way to the end. If things get tense just remember they're only here for three days.
Are you the person who frets about sleeping arrangements and space? If you are, read this next paragraph carefully. Where everyone's going to go is probably the worst part of the entire lead up to Thanksgiving or any holiday in general--especially if your house is smaller. However, there is a plan to this problem that not many people think through. The key to this plan is to start from the top and work your way down. It's nice to envision your house layout in your head or on paper so all the rooms/spaces can be visualized. If you have guest rooms, use those but you can always kick the kids into someone else's room. My sisters both have queen beds. Every time there's a large amount of people, two are put in one of their rooms and then they move to the other's (Alexis to Kenzie's or vice versa). Next on the list is air mattresses. They may not be the most comfortable but they get the job done. The next bullet point on your mental checklist should be personality types. As in, who likes to just sleep on the furniture. My sister Ashley sleeps on the couch every time this so my mom doesn't worry too much about her. If you eliminate the people on your list based on that personality, a lot of people should be eliminated. If you're still in need of space it's time to turn to your basement/rec spaces. You'd be surprised how many people can fit.
It seems we're missing the most important piece of any holiday gathering. Cooking the actual meal! If you go out for dinner instead of giving yourself a nervous breakdown trying to cook for a big group, in a short time period, and perhaps in a really tiny kitchen, you needn't worry about this part. However, if you do cook at home, first of all, god bless you and second of all, stick with me a little while longer because you're really going to wish you had. I have one key rule- Organization and delegation! Before any cooking begins, find everything you're going to need. Bowls, pans, pots, tongs, whisks, mixing spoons, measuring cups, etc. If it's all laid out beforehand, a ton of time will be saved. You don't have to dig things out or wonder if you even have it after that last school bake sale. Tempers are probably high at this point. Don't make anyone boil over for something dumb if you can avoid it by having everything ready to go. After your utensils are ready, delegate jobs immediately. So and so's chopping the carrots, so and so's skinning the potatoes, and so on. That way, your kitchen can run like a factory assembly line. From box, to pan, to oven, to plate, to mouth, etc. Who knew prep time and cooking could be so so simple?
The important take aways because I know some of you got lost at some point. The steps to a stress-free holiday (one can hope) are:
#1: Walk away from the conversation if you or the other person are getting a little heated. Come back together after you've chilled out. A mostly tension-free holiday is the best thing for everyone.
#2: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Mother knows best and she's usually right. Follow her rule from the get-go and you won't even have to deal with step 1.
#3: Start from the top and work your way down. Sleeping arrangements are an unnecessary stress. Think about all the rooms in your house and move some people around. Don't forget to filter people by their personalities (Who's cool with the couch?).
#4: Organization and delegation. Prepping your kitchen beforehand and giving each person jobs is the best way to get from kitchen to plate in no time.
You've seen it here so it must be true. Thanksgiving just got compressed from stress to no mess in four easy steps! Don't limit them to just Thanksgiving though. If you have the tools, why not use them in every other major family gathering. You'll be thankful later. That's all for this week! I promise I will get back to a regular schedule this week so look out for a new post (or two to end the month on track) this Sunday!
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The Blog in a Nutshell
Hi! Welcome to Fashion Fun and Extra, a blog run by Caroline Hill. A wheelchair user, podcaster, little sister, writer, and more, Caroline's unique view on life allows readers to take a glance into something they don't experience everyday. Told with humor, realness, remarkable wit, and a special kind bluntness, no blog will fail to entertain!