I feel like somewhat of a holiday alarmist to announce the two-week mark so loudly, but I’m also not going to lie — I’m totally unprepared to host the meal for my family this year. I’m picking up a roasting pan this week and I’ve pre-ordered the turkey locally through Dietz Produce, but that’s about it.
I have a vague idea of the sides we’ll serve, because we serve them every year. But I keep toying with the idea of making my own stuffing, or serving local squash instead of our normal frozen peas. And I’m crossing my fingers the pumpkin I boiled, pureed and froze will work out OK in the pumpkin cake. Really, I’m crossing my fingers for all of it.
So when a friend linked me to the first installment of “The No-Tears, No-Panic Thanksgiving Countdown Guide” via theawl.com, it was a blessing and a curse.
- A blessing because as I read, I thought “Oh wow, that is a great idea. Planning for those other meals Thanksgiving weekend. Buying wine ahead of time.”
- A curse because I also thought, “Who on EARTH is this prepared for things?! It’s three days into November!”
And then I succumbed into a panicky, nervous sweat that subsided only once I put Thanksgiving out of my mind entirely. Which, hey, is sometimes how I deal with overwhelming things. Nothing like a little conflict-avoidance to smooth things over.
But as I thought about this looming two-week mark, I decided to follow my own advice — you know, that advice I gave ya’ll two weeks ago and then knocked to the back of my mind:
And so I did — I mapped out meals for the days before and after Thanksgiving, I menu-planned for the big meal itself, I marked my calendar so I wouldn’t forget to pick up my sister at the Harrisburg airport, etc. Yes, I still have to go down to Central Market and buy the meal ingredients, and yes I still have to wash the sheets and towels, and yes I still have to clean my apartment from top to bottom. But I feel a tiny bit better.
Is it just me who gets easily overwhelmed by holiday planning? Does anyone have any tried-and-true tips on how to host a calmer, stress-free holiday?
— Find local sources for Thanksgiving ingredients
— Get tips on cleaning and recipes for homemade cleaning products
— Try a new twist on a classic Thanksgiving recipe
— Create place cards from cardstock, test tubes and fresh flowers
Smart is showcasing something different each day of the holiday season. Some days it will be an event, such as a play or craft bazaar. Other days it will be a recipe you can serve during Christmas dinner or a suggestion for entertaining the kids. We’ll give tips to survive the holidays — all 61 days of them. View past posts by clicking on “Holiday countdown” under “Things to do” at the top of the homepage.