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Eat and Be Merry your way into an organized holiday season

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it already feels like everyone is gearing up for the Christmas Marathon. Whether you're going all out with a festive feast or keeping it simple, this time of year can be a roller coaster of emotions. Once Black Friday hits, the race is on to snag the best deals on gifts. The ultimate goal? That satisfying feeling at the end of Christmas when you know you nailed the perfect gifts for everyone, enjoyed your favorite holiday movies, made your family feel included and loved, and had a blast with friends during holiday "get-togethers". My Christmas wish is for everything to go smoothly so we can look back with even more gratitude.

In this blog post, I will give helpful tips on how to prepare for your holiday season. Starting with Thanksgiving dinner, get a guide to preparing before and after Christmas, a plan for resetting after the New Year, and finally, something to motivate you to care for yourself along the way.

  • Thanksgiving meal planning tips- Get your printable meal planner
  • How to create a memorable holiday season
  • Steps for an organized Christmas
  • Reset and refresh for the New Year
  • Create time for yourself

In my family, large gatherings are happening less frequently since our grandmother passed away, and some family members have moved away. We've decided not to pressure each other for gifts or insist on meeting on the actual holidays. Instead, we focus on finding time to connect throughout the year. But for those who have this one chance to see family and partake in holiday traditions, it's a whirlwind of activities before and after the holidays.

As you gear up for holiday travel, decorating, meal planning, and gift-giving from Thanksgiving week until after New Year's, consider a few tips to stay organized and reduce stress. Cherishing the time spent together and actually enjoying yourself is the end goal. So, let's dive into the holiday season with a plan that ensures a more relaxed and organized experience when it's all said and done.

Let's start with Thanksgiving meal planning:

Thanksgiving marks our time to express our gratitude for the many blessings we have and the blessings we can share with others. It's my favorite holiday. I love that every autumn we get to create a comfortable, cozy feeling with food. What better way to make them feel appreciated than to work hard on a meal and have everyone gobble it up for a Thanksgiving feast? Hopefully, you will have others bring a dish to make it easier on you. But either way, as we prepare for a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with our friends and family, it's essential to stay organized to ensure a smooth and enjoyable celebration.

Here are some simple tips to get you going for Thanksgiving.Click image to Listen and Watch YouTube Video

1. Guest List:

  • Make a list of friends and family who will be joining you.
  • Confirm who is indeed attending so that you know how much food to prepare.

2. Menu Planning:

  • Decide on the dishes you want to serve (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc.).
  • Consider anyone with an allergy. Do you have any guests attending with allergies?
  • Create a shopping list based on the chosen menu.

3. Shopping:

  • Head to the grocery store with your list.
  • Check for any ingredients or items you may already have at home.
  • Don't forget to buy extra essentials, like ice. Can you use cloth napkins this year instead?

4. Cooking Schedule:

  • Plan a cooking schedule for the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
  • Some dishes can be prepared in advance, reducing stress on the big day.

5. Decorations:

  • Plan the table setting and decorations.
  • Consider involving the kids in making simple, homemade decorations.

6. Thanksgiving Day Timeline:

  • Create a timeline for the day, including when to start cooking each dish.
  • Factor in time for breaks and relaxation.

7. Entertainment:

  • Plan some fun activities or games for guests.
  • Create a music playlist to enhance the mood you want.

8. Leftovers:

  • Make enough food for leftovers and have containers ready for guests to take some food home.
  • Plan for creative ways to use any extra food.

9. Cleaning:

  • Clean and organize your home in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
  • Ensure there's enough seating for everyone.

Remember, the most important thing is to enjoy the time with loved ones and give thanks for the blessings in our lives. So, find a moment throughout the day to be grateful. Happy Thanksgiving, Make it easy to stay organized for Thanksgiving with my free, printable PDF planner. print on to your own computer or mobile device.

Get your FREE meal planner: Click here: Get your free Thanksgiving Meal Planning Guide



Blog post by Elizabeth Lulu Miranda: Lulu has been working as a home and office organizer in Chicago for over 15 years. She brings new perspectives on how to have an organized life. Writing for the Mercury Organizing blog “Create the Flow" and her personal blog “What would Lulu Do?"

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