Do the upcoming festivities leave you a little wilted? Are you wondering how you’re going to get everything cooked, cleaned, and done in time to host a house full of family? This year, it may be time to take a step back and make the holidays a little less extravagant and focus on spending time with family. 

Focus on What Matters

Of course, you want to provide a wonderful, filling meal to your family and friends this Thanksgiving. It is all about stuffing your face and sitting back with the people you love. But that can still happen while also giving yourself a break! Enlisting the help of your kids when it comes time to cook and clean can be a lifesaver! Depending on the age of your kids, have them help dust, vacuum, clean windows, sweep, mop and everything else in between! Your kids may grumble a bit, but remind them of the meaning of Thanksgiving, and about being grateful for what they have. 

They can even use this as an opportunity to be even more grateful. If your kids will be cleaning or sprucing up multiple rooms of the house, give them a challenge to help make their chores light. For each room they clean, they have to find something in the room that they are grateful for. It could be something as simple as being grateful for the ceiling fan for keeping them cool! If they are really struggling to find something, then also include the people who use that room. Are they grateful for their grandparents? Then that could be their gratitude for the spare bedroom that they are cleaning for when they visit. This can give your kids a good perspective on all the different things and ways we can be grateful, even for the mundane items!

The Dinner

When it comes down to dinner time, the kids can also help! Your older children can help set up the tables with napkins and silverware, and even help decorate ahead of time. They can also help prep in the kitchen, depending on their ages. They can help chop up veggies or stir pots, or even just keep an eye on the gravy to make sure it does not burn! If you choose to simplify the Thanksgiving feast this year, this can also help lighten your load! You can get great quality cooked turkey that you can simmer on the stove in gravy. Don’t feel like you have to cook an entire turkey in order to make a feast! Simplify the recipes and use instant potatoes; or look for side dishes that can be made the day before and then popped into the oven to reheat. This can save you time so you can better focus on sitting at the table, rather than serving the table!

Katie Kyzivat