10 Tips for a Happy Thanksgiving

I know … Thanksgiving is happy.  But it’s also very stressful and chaotic, especially for the mom/chef/baker/photograph taker.    So, I thought I’d offer some ideas for the most frantic demographic on Thanksgiving Day – the moms.

10 Tips for a Happy Thanksgiving || TeriLynneUnderwood.com

Make double of whatever you can.   This won’t actually save you any time now; but, at Christmas when your mac & cheese is already mixed up and in the freezer ready to be thawed and cooked, you’ll be glad you did it!  {I make double mac & cheese, dressing, and sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving and freeze for Christmas.}

Try something new.   Trying a new recipe is one of my favorite things so I usually try a new side dish or dessert at Thanksgiving.   However, I don’t recommend messing with a family tradition … let’s just say even Paula Deen’s red velvet bread pudding was not good enough to replace Mamaw’s red velvet cake.  {ahem.}

Involve the kids.  Our girl has done everything from make the placemats to set the table to come up with a game for everyone to play.

Delegate!  Seriously … let someone else do something.  Even better, let lots of someone elses do lots of some things.

Make a list of everything you *need* to do … then mark off 10% of it.   If you can’t figure out what to mark off, as your husband.   🙂

Plan with the end in mind.  By that I mean, what is it that you want people to remember on Friday about Thanksgiving?  Give that the priority attention in your planning and preparations.

Pray!  Often.   I’ve been known to use my dryer as my prayer reminder but on Thanksgiving I imagine the kitchen timer could be a great tool.

Give lots of hugs!  In fact, I think a good rule of thumb is – Hug everyone you pass.  Every time.

Accept all help.   Let go of your Type A, OCD self!  Seriously.   If someone wants to bring green beans, just say, “Great!”   And by all means, let anyone who offers wash the dishes.

Do one thing YOU love … use the good china, watch the Macy’s parade, light the candles, whatever makes you smile.   Just do it … for yourself and for your family.  Remember, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

That’s my list … and I’m sticking with it.

What’s your best tip for a happy Thanksgiving?

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  1. Snce we travel for Thanksgiving, the most stressful part for me is getting out the door and in the car to head “home.” I need to just relax and enjoy the time together as a family, even if we are not running on MY timeline. 🙂

  2. I love the idea of using the kitchen timer as a reminder to pray! 🙂 My daughter would love Thanksgiving at your house because you make mac and cheese. I will have to think about adding that to the menu! 🙂

    • Nikki, you have to make mac and cheese!! I’ve just learned that when life is crazy (like in my kitchen on Thanksgiving!), audible reminders to stop and refocus on the Lord really help me.

  3. Love the idea about asking your husband. Seriously, I think too often I get all wrapped up in and frantic with details that mean nothing to anyone but me.

    • I’ve learned that lesson the hard way … but it is such a gift to have a husband who will speak truth {and freedom!} into my life.

  4. Excellent advice my friend!! I always do make double of everything, but it’s so that we can have some leftovers and send containers of food home with each brother-in-law (all 3 are single so aren’t blessed with ladies at home to cook for them). I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving! 🙂


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