This year I’m determined, former procrastinators, to pace myself wisely through the holidays so I can enjoy things more. That means other people will enjoy things more too. It doesn’t help others when I’m frazzled.
Gratitude takes some thought. It’s easier to feel grateful when we’re not pressed for time. Since I want to be extra mindful now of God’s blessings, I need to save space for that in my mind and my schedule. That means: Think ahead, work ahead to avoid self-inflicted pressure that diverts me from gratitude and joy.
Do what needs doing when it needs doing – work, play, or rest. If I work the following things early, I’ll have more time for play and rest. I’ll have mental and schedule space for gratitude.
- Settle where you will be – hosting, being a guest, or resting at home. For how many days will you have overnighters?
- Figure out the timeline of your preparations and write it on the calendar. Build in margin. Things will not go perfectly, so don’t put yourself in a bind hoping for the best.
- If hosting, invite the folks, keeping in mind there might be extras.
- Decide on your menu(s). Gather all recipes. If trying new ones, you might want to test them out earlier.
One year someone explained how he roasted their turkeys in a paper sack. I was nervous but it turned out well – and there was no fire. Better than that, we like the overnight method of low temperature roasting. Very juicy. It’s a flexible method and has the advantage of freeing up your oven when you need it the next day. You can find that at www.honeybrookfarms.com.
- Write out your grocery list. Shop early for as much as possible. It’s easier to make a small run just for perishables the week of Thanksgiving than it is to shop for a cart full.
- Make sure you have the dishes, serving dishes, and cooking equipment you need.
- Determine if you will purchase items from a restaurant or bakery. Call to place your order early. Include pickup in your timeline.
- Start cooking. (Cakes are often better when they’ve been frozen.)
Celebrate with gratitude that preparation is underway. Thankful people are coming.
What’s your Thanksgiving timeline?