Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Let Mom Experience the Holidays, Too!





As an adult, I have this new respect for my mom and my grandma who worked in the kitchen the whole day on Thanksgiving and even on Christmas to make sure that everyone had a favorite dish to eat on Thanksgiving. For one thing, food is EXPENSIVE and for another thing, it can take a long time to make those dishes.

Now that I'm hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, I realize how time consuming it really is. I felt that I missed most of the Christmas cheer and celebration, last year, so this year, I vowed that it wouldn't happen again.

How Do You Give Yourself Extra Time?


  • Prepare Dishes ahead of time- Prepare any dish that you can the night before. A few weeks ago, I posted 7 different Easy to Make Thanksgiving dishes. Almost every single one of those can be prepared the night before. Then, about 30-40 minutes before the meal is to be served, slip those in the oven (If that's where they go) and voila, you have most of your morning to do what you want to do. 

Related- How to Have an Easy Thanksgiving with These Easy-to-Make Side Dishes


  • Do take out- If your family is happy with ordering out there may still be restaurants open that day, but before deciding to do that, check around your area to see if any of them do offer that. 
  • Don't prepare so much food- I know this seems silly because Thanksgiving-especially- is about being thankful, but also the food spread. If you can find just a few dishes that everyone likes, do that instead.
  • Potluck style- You're already offering your house as a place to gather. Make the turkey and have guests or other family members prepare a dish. As your kids get older, involve them in the cooking.
  • Already Prepared Food- Not everything needs to be homemade. If you can throw some frozen vegetables in the microwave and you want to, do it! Buy that pie that's already made! 
  • Take Turns to Host- If you always host and you don't mind giving up the title to someone else, ask someone else to take over from time to time. If you feel guilty, bring a dish to pass.
  • Use Fake Dishes- Did you know that you can buy fake china? I discovered some Premium Plastic Plates at Sam's Club a few years ago. They look like the real thing, but you don't have to wash them. Just recycle them. I know this can be wasteful, but it really does save you time and you don't have to worry about whether or not you have enough dishes or silverware to serve your guests. 

Prepare Your Food Station Ahead of Time

There's nothing more frustrating than figuring everything out at the last minute. Figure out your game plan! What will you do when it's time to eat? Do you have a place for the food to go?


  • Make room for food- We have a dining room. We try to fit the main dishes in the middle of the table, but it doesn't fit all of it. We end up putting a card table to a side with less foot traffic and put desserts and side dishes on it. If there isn't enough room, put the dessert in the fridge or some other place that's safe from animals and people bumping into it. 
  • Move things around- If you are having guests, the house can get easily crowded. If you can, temporarily move your furniture around so that there is ease of moving around. 
  • Ask Someone to Set the Table- We use our dining room table for everything including socializing. It's difficult to play games or talk when you're doing it over empty dishes. I usually put out a nice tablecloth, maybe some pretty centerpieces, and then leave the rest of the table open. When I know the food is just about ready, I ask my kids to help set the table. Since we have family and friends, I really don't care too much about how it looks after because they still love me for me.
If you have a plan, you don't have to hurriedly scramble things together and keep your wits about you.  


What to Do With the Extra Time that You Get?

Do what you love to do with your family.

Examples:


  • Play board games- My kids are just getting to the age where they can enjoy and understand some of my favorite board games. We're not quite ready to play Monopoly yet, (maybe Monopoly isn't the game to play on a day when you're supposed to be thankful) but Battleship is pretty easy to play. 
  • Make Crafts- Construction paper is really one of my favorite things to use for crafts. You can make hand turkeys or pilgrim hats. Last year, I cut out a tree trunk and then a base for leaves. Then with red, yellow, and orange construction paper, I cut out tear drop shaped leave and each of us wrote five things we were thankful for, then taped them to the tree for a thankful tree.








































We made Turkey puppets, this year. We have Peg Leg Joe, Princess Turkey, Bat Turkey with a cold beak, and Turkey Robin.
  • Watch Movies- It doesn't have to be a Thanksgiving movie or a Christmas movie, just find a movie that you, the kids, and the rest of the family enjoys and pop it in. 
    • Pop some popcorn and add some M&Ms for a special treat.
    • Snuggle up with warm blankets.
    • Drink some hot cocoa! My favorite is Land O' Lakes Hot Cocoa. 
  • Play Some Games with the Adults- It's ok to NOT do everything with your kids. If they are busy watching their own movie or playing without killing each other, play some card games or other games that you don't get to do normally. Moms and Dads- you spend so much time with your kids, it's ok to have adult time. Some of my favorite, and sometimes not appropriate games to play are:
    • Cards Against Humanity- not suitable for children or playing with your grandparents, unless they're dirty minded or politically incorrect.
    • Apples to Apples- This is family friendly. There is a judge who either gives you a word or a description and everyone else who is playing either plays the word or description that they think fits that word best and the judge picks which one is best. 
    • Risk- Like Monopoly, this can cause your family to be estranged. 
    • Scrabble- This is a game that your kids can play if they aren't competitive. It teaches them how to read, spell, and learn new words for their vocabulary. 
Eat!


If you made a turkey or ham, it's going to be done cooking between 3-5 hours. (perhaps more if it's very large). It's going to need some time to cool, so after you take it out of the oven, throw in your other side dishes that were prepared ahead of time. I know some recipes give different times and temps. What I usually do is find the middle ground and adjust the time accordingly. As long as you're not preparing other meat items, what we're mostly looking for is that the dish is warmed through.


Have your kids set the table and then have everyone sit down and eat.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. Remember, this is the time to be Thankful, although we should always be grateful for what we have, but relax. Take it easy and enjoy the ones you love!

Don't let the busyness of these holidays ruin your quality time and enjoyment of the day!



32 comments:

  1. potluck style is a sure way to go! it saves a lot of time and it just adds so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It most definitely does! It also brings some unique dishes that you might not have thought to make before.

      Delete
  2. These are some wonderful tips, it can be hard when you are in charge of cooking. I know we have to tell my Mum to step away some times.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I totally love the idea of making holiday dinners potluck style and buying some of the dishes. It's totally ok if not everything is made from scratch. It's more about enjoying the day with your loved ones!
    xoxo
    Annie

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love these tips! I would rather spend time with family as opposed to spending time in the kitchen the entire time. Thanks for sharing. We love board games in my house

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love using fake dishes for entertaining. I call it my good china and it is the best.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Best post ever! Holidays can be really exhausting if we spend the entire time in the kitchen. I've learned to cook before hand and save it in the fridge and to eat out sometimes. Thank you for sharing! Enjoy the holidays<3

    XO
    Candace
    http://www.thebeautybau.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It can be exhausting! The holidays are the best time to try out new restaurants because some of those restaurants celebrate different holidays. We would always eat from a family restaurant ran by a family who was from Macedonia.

      Delete
  7. Such great tips! I feel like I'm always in the kitchen at Christmas and I end up missing the day x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope that from now on, you'll spend it with others. :)

      Delete
  8. I've just started hosting more holiday dinner so these are great tips. I like the idea of disposable plates made to look like china - I find dishes to be one of the hardest parts of hosting for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We ran out of hot water on Thanksgiving. At first we thought our water heater went out, but I had just been running the dishwasher and washing so many dishes that we had no warm water for baths. Dishes never end even when you're using disposable.

      Delete
  9. These are good suggestions. I think the biggest way to save the day of, is to prepare the night before best you can. There are just not enough hours in a day and they go quicker than you know. Love ya sister.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! It also works faster when ALL of us, *cough*Natilee*cough* help out, too.

      Delete
  10. Yes! My husband and I are hosting a holiday party next month and we are 10000% getting it catered! Last time we hosting a party that is going to be BIG, it was 4th of JULY, and my husband spent the ENTIRE TIME cooking. He did not enjoy himself, AT ALL!! And I want him to have fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the confirmation! I enjoy cooking for everyone, but I get lost in there and miss out. I hope your party goes well!

      Delete
  11. This is the best post I saw today. We all need to think for mothers, sister and wifes that they all have life too they dont belong to kitchen only. I am loving all the tips. Thanks for sharing such an wonderful blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's so true! I feel so bad about how I didn't help out at home when I was younger. I remember being upset the first time that we decided to do pizza for Christmas, but now, I know why we did and it's become a tradition when I spend it with my side.

      Delete
  12. I agree. The Holidays take lots of planning, time and energy from anyone; specially moms. I love all your tips. I use a few already.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a great blog post! These all are good suggestions. It's more about enjoying the day with your loved ones!

    ReplyDelete
  14. These are excellent ideas to make the holiday season nice. I'm always in a rush and don't ever have the time to do what I planned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a huge procrastinator and when I do do what I'm supposed to do, I get easily distracted.

      Delete
  15. Really don't mind spending all the time in the kitchen because all my family are cooks. We all love cooking different style, some are Spanish, French, Chinese, etc... Every time we gathered, it is an international buffet. I'm getting too fat just thinking about it. lol...

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am a huge fan of potluck and crockpots too. They save time and you can still have delicious meals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been transferring my takes time to make meals into the crock pot and found that it's just so much easier and tastes almost as good.

      Delete

To comment: type your comment, click preview, click not a robot, follow promt, then click publish.

The Beginner's Bible

Disclaimer- I received this Bible in exchange for an honest review. Although I was asked to review this product, all reviews are my honest...

Follow