Do you have a love/hate relationship with the holidays?  If so, I understand!  On the one hand, there are Hallmark movies to watch, hot chocolate to sip and lots of quality time with family.  On the other hand, there is a ton of planning to do, lines for everything, and lots of quality time with family. **winks** The holidays should be a wonderful time but can be stressful for so many reasons. Take a look at these tips and see where you have room to eliminate stress and simplify.
1. Have a Plan:
Most of us are cooking a lot more food at one time than we normally do.  Cooking all the things can be overwhelming.  It helps to write down what’s on the menu, plus what time it needs to be prepped and cooked.  Then, post your cooking schedule in plain sight.  If you need extra cooking surfaces, crockpots and electric skillets can free up precious real estate on the stove.
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]Have realistic expectations of what can and can’t be done.  You can decorate your table with simple seasonal decor but you can’t redecorate the entire house.  After the holidays, evaluate what needs better flow… do you need more seating, better lighting, new countertops, more storage?  What things would make your kitchen function better? Try to get easy home maintenance done now and make a mental note of any bigger projects you’d like to complete next year. This post can help you put together a project list and prioritize it: Planning Home Projects

[dt_gap height=”10″ /]Need decorating inspo for your Thanksgiving table? Get ideas HERE.

2. Keep it Manageable:
The “Martha” in you may want to make everything from scratch but try to keep it to two or three homemade dishes, tops.  For example, make the turkey and stuffing; Buy the pies and the rolls.  If guests offer to bring a dish, by all means, let them.
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The right kitchen tools also make the job easier.  Make sure your knives are sharpened and ready to chop; because as they say, “A sharp knife is a safe knife.” This knife sharpener works great.  If you’re in the market for a new skillet, I have this one from FOOD52 and love it.  Lastly, this meat/potato masher makes browning meat so much easier.
[dt_gap height=”10″ /](None of the above are affiliate links.  Just things I use and love and want to share with you!)

[dt_gap height=”10″ /]3. People First:
They say “the kitchen is the heart of the home.”  But I believe it’s the people that make the heartbeat.  Having a “people first” attitude around the holidays helps keep things in perspective. If you have a plan and keep it manageable you’ll be able to spend more time on the people rather than the house and the food.  Play games, watch holiday movies, put together a puzzle, take a walk, tell old stories, let loose.  This is how the best memories are made.
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