Guide to a Stress Free Thanksgiving

How to make everyone remember Thanksgiving

Everyone gets their picture taken whether they like it or not. People in my family typically don’t appreciate having their picture taken when they aren’t expecting it. Trust that, that is the best time. Some of the best moments of our lives are unexpected. I have a photo of my mom and me during the Thanksgiving holiday that she wasn’t at all in the mood to take. Thirteen years later it is my favorite photo of her and me.

How to not stress out over Thanksgiving

I spent every Thanksgiving holiday at my grandparent’s house. I remember my grandmother working half the day away making sure the appetizers were ready and that her kitchen and entire house was clean. I appreciated all of that, but what I have learned by hosting my own Thanksgivings at my house that family members appreciate family moments and laughter a lot more than they appreciate the appetizers and pristine bathrooms.

Remember that the relative getting on your nerves this year may not be here next year

Family is supposed to get on your nerves especially around the holidays. Every family member feels they could have done a better job whether it’s setting the tables, cleaning the oven, or cooking the turkey the right way. Just remember; they won’t always be there to get on your nerves and that you will miss it one day; one Thanksgiving.

How to cook a turkey

There was a lot of pressure a couple of years ago because I was so used to having the turkey cooked for me and for my children. It was so easy to visit a relative’s house and get fed their turkey that they spent all day on and not give it a second thought. I didn’t bother to figure out how the turkey was made. It wasn’t until I was hosting Thanksgiving unexpectedly one year that I figured out how to cook a turkey. I read the directions on the package but that was after I had also read that turkey needs to defrost in the refrigerator from the freezer for about three days. I hadn’t taken the turkey out of the freezer and remembered it the night before Thanksgiving. One thing I learned that is a turkey can be taken out of the freezer the night before Thanksgiving, and it will be defrosted at just the right time to start cooking it, as long as the turkey is kept at room temperature for the entire night, it will be just the same as defrosting the turkey in the refrigerator three days prior to Thanksgiving. I also learned that a turkey needs about twenty to thirty minutes of cook time for every pound of turkey. I have never had more than a thirteen pound turkey, so it takes about six to seven hours to cook. Whatever the amount of time spent cooking it you know that you are cooking up good memories and that the time spent leading up to eating the turkey were some of the best times.

I’ve had some not so enjoyable Thanksgivings with family (mostly in-laws). I survived and here’s how:

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