Holiday Meals Without the Stress

Guess what, Mom? It is November. Somehow it snuck up on us! This holiday mealseason always promises magic and fun, but usually brings with it more than a sleigh full of stress. I don’t know if it’s having a second child, or turning 35 or maybe both but this year I just don’t have time for all of that. I’m losing the stress and keeping the joy.

Here’s my destressed holiday entertaining plan:

1. I’m going to pick one showstopper. I’m just going to concentrate on doing one thing each meal really well, and that one thing is something that I can do ahead. Either that glossy burnished turkey, gorgeous dessert, show stopping brunch pastry or whatever, and make everything else super simple. In fact I like to artfully arrange bought items like cheeses and olives for a course, which looks wonderful and everyone enjoys but it really took no work from me at all.

2. I’m not going to bedazzle anything. No Pinteresting how to turn tiny oranges into elves. No making the stuffing into little leaf patterns or whatever is supposed to be cool this year. Delicious holiday food, but I’m not getting lost in the details. Does anybody really remember all of that stuff anyway? If thats your jam then great, you should sell them on Etsy. I’m a sucker for elf oranges, I might buy them.

3. I’m letting people help. Really, if someone offers to bring a salad, or carry a giant platter or hold a baby I’m going to let them. Seriously. Also, I plan on inviting only people who like to bring salads, carry giant platters and hold babies!

4. I’m calling naked toddlers screaming and running through the dining room with a potty in entertainment. In other words, I’m embracing the inevitable. Oh, I’ll provide a few other distractions, puzzles are surprisingly fun for all ages, music is indispensable, and if I get truly ambitious maybe a game that gets conversation flowing.

5. I’m going to stop worrying about it. I’m going to let go all of the things that won’t get done, and enjoy my wonderful friends and family in the moments we have together, isn’t that really the point?

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