Less than 2 weeks away from Thanksgiving, my personal favorite holiday. Are you ready? Have you bought your organic free range turkey? Have you canned some cranberries for a delicious compote? What about your handmade turkey napkin rings from Pinterest? In short, are you the cool, calm and collected hostess on all the magazine covers?
OK, are you done laughing hysterically yet? I know I am! So how can we have that elusive perfect Thanksgiving meal? I’ve got 3 steps for you to follow and I promise they will bring you closer to the perfect Thanksgiving than all the Pinterest boards in the world.
Throw perfection out the window.
Nothing is ever perfect. Anyone who promises perfection is selling something (with apologies to the movie The Princess Bride). Perfectionism actually keeps us from accomplishing our goals by endlessly deferring completion to an abstract notion of perfection. There are times when we need to strive to hit a big goal or complete a huge task. Delivering the perfect Thanksgiving meal is not one of those times. Instead, do your best and outsource the rest. Get guests involved in meal prep, use the regular dishes if that’s easier, and remember that an elaborate centerpiece just gets in the way of food.
Set a deadline and stop working when it arrives.
At a certain point, what’s done is done and what’s not done is just not done. Maybe it’s because 10 minutes before meal time you remembered you wanted a fruit salad. Maybe your first batch of bread was overdone. Maybe you brined the chicken too long and it was so salty it was inedible, necessitating a Plan B for food (actual story in my life, just not from Thanksgiving). Whatever it is, set yourself a deadline. At this point, you will lift up your hands and be done. You may want a couple of deadlines: say 10:00 pm Wednesday night and again 30 minutes before serving food on Thursday. You’ll enjoy your meal a lot more if you weren’t up until 1:00 am finishing that third pie!
Go with the flow.
At one Thanksgiving, our toilet got stopped up and I had to send my husband out to buy a plunger. Disaster? No, but a funny memory got made that year! Then there was the year that the “cruise ship” virus slowly made its way through my parents’ household, one person at a time. Not fun then, but good stories later! If you’ve ever had a vacation go horribly wrong, you know that often the very best memories come out of that experience. So your grandparents said something horribly racist! So your toddler told the dinner guests you’re pregnant when you weren’t telling yet! So your boyfriend projectile vomited all over your mom! Yes, horrible now, but in a few years these events will be comedic gold. Let go and laugh – it’s always better than crying.
Does this all sound impossible? Let’s talk!
I’d love to talk through your concerns with you and help you craft your OWN 3 steps to the perfect Thanksgiving.
PS: I did, in fact, buy a free range locally raised turkey. But I swear, that’s the only Stepford Wife thing I’ve done this year!