Hosting for the holidays can be associated with anxiety. There can be many reasons for that. See if any of these resonate with you…
Fear of a food failure
Little time to prepare
Feeling like your home isn’t good enough or big enough
Not knowing what to do before or during the meal
Wondering how to keep everyone entertained
I’d like to try to address some of these topics today and we’ll finish the rest later this week.
Tight finances – The meal doesn’t have to break the bank. Decide what parts of the meal are important to your family. Is it the turkey? Then get a good sized, good quality bird and add a couple of essential sides like mashed potatoes, Green Bean Casserole and some rolls. Enlist your guests to bring a dish to help. Get someone to bring a pie and Cool Whip and someone else to bring a relish tray.
Stressful company – Sometimes the people that come are related and might be difficult to deal with. Pray about your attitude. If our heart is right, our responses will follow. Ask the Lord to give you His love for your guests. Don’t have expectations about what they should be to you. Only desire to be a blessing to them. It’s just a day – you don’t have to invite them to move in.
Fear of food failure – Watch a You Tube video by Barefoot Contessa or another Food Network chef you love and watch them roast a turkey, bake a pie or make that great side dish. It’s like having an assistant in your kitchen with you. If you can try to make the dish ahead of time as a trial run, you’ll know what needs to be improved. Little things like setting a timer when you put the rolls in the oven, or putting reminders on your phone to thaw the turkey or put the casserole in the oven can help you avoid big mess-ups! My best tip is make dessert delicious!That’s the last thing everyone eats and that’s what they’ll remember! If you need to buy a Pumpkin Pie at Sam’s Club, do it, then whip up your own whipping cream and sprinkle the top with Pumpkin Pie Spice to make it beautiful!
Little time to prepare – I think we’re all nodding our heads on this one! The best thing to do is PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME as much as you can. If you saw my recent post, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of getting as much done beforehand as possible. Here’s a detailed list from a few years ago about my day before preparations. It made everything so simple!
Remember to keep your focus on the why of the holiday! Don’t let yourself get sucked into the trap of trying to do everything. Make the menu simple, but delicious. Make your home inviting (we’ll talk more about this Friday), and keep your own attitude sweet, welcoming and brimming over with thankfulness.
Are there other stress factors about hosting the holidays that I overlooked? What triggers anxiety in your heart?
It’s hard to fathom that this Thursday is Thanksgiving Day! My husband says I’m “in a tither” with all my plans, maybe I am, but I just know that there’s lots of stuff going on before then and I have to think through all the details! It’s not stressing me, I’m just trying to prepare ahead. I love Thanksgiving and desire that it not be overshadowed by Christmas being pushed in ahead of its time.
Who but Christians have as much to be thankful for? Our hearts overflow with gratitude for all that the Lord has done for us. Every day we see His faithful hand in our lives – providing, protecting, guiding, supplying. How can we not be filled with thanks and look for an opportunity to tell Him thank you and share with others what He has done?
George Herbert put it this way:
Thou hast given so much to me; Give me one thing more – a grateful heart. Not thankful when it pleaseth me, As if thy blessings had spare days, But such a heart whose pulse may be thy praise.
The psalmist said it like this: Psalm 37:25 I was young, but now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. This is truly a testimony of God’s faithfulness! I can certainly say the same thing.
What can you do to make this a Thanksgiving that will stand out from all the rest and also ease your tithers?
Look for someone to invite to your family dinner. A widow, a college student studying in your area, or an elderly couple who can’t travel to their family’s gathering.
Make some easy appetizers for folks to snack on while dinner is cooking.
Prepare a basket of food to give to a needy family
Instead of football naps, play games together as a family after the meal!
When I was a child, my dad always made a “bunny ice cream treat” for Easter. It was a tradition in our home. What about making a Thanksgiving treat for your little ones that can be the traditional treat you serve every year? How about these Turkey Treats?
They’re adorable and would be yummy too!
Just thought I’d share a few ideas with you, just in case you’re “in a tither” about Thanksgiving too!
We knew it was coming because death comes to us all, but the blow and the loss is what has left my heart staggering and also lifted up to the Lord in thanks today. A dear church member, friend and “almost-family member,” Hope Carter, went home to heaven this week, leaving a great void, and my heart lifted in grateful praise for a life well lived.
Crispy, char-grilled pizza crust, savory sauce, melted cheese and toppings of choice were part of our menu for Apples of Gold this week! We added an Olive Garden Salad, and we finished with Brown Sugar Glazed Pineapple slices topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was heavenly. I love this menu because most of it can be done ahead of time, so that dinner can be ready in minutes!!
If you’re saying, “Grilled Pizza?” you’ve missed my former posts about this grilled delight! It sounds intimidating to grill a pizza, but it’s SO simple!! As I told the ladies at our Apples of Gold meeting, you can have this finished before Pizza Hut could deliver to your door! This recipe makes 8 individual pizzas that are hearty in size!