Four weeks to a stress free holiday gathering

November means the start of family gatherings and the holidays.  As the chic housekeeping magazines begin to fill my mailbox and suggest that I start making crepe paper center pieces and piping tiny turkeys onto homemade petit fours, a sense of urgency to hit my local craft store kicks in.  I am a notorious list maker and begin yet another yard-long list of "things to do/get" to make my holiday celebration perfect. As I sip at my coffee and the caffeine slowly begins to penetrate and suppress my urge to return to bed, I realize that these crafty suggestions will not be happening this holiday season.

Between the kids, the housekeeping, the spouse and the job I have decided that I need to let some things go.  My first year hosting Thanksgiving, I have made a new list.  A list that will help me enjoy being a hostess and hopefully rub off on a couple of novice turkey stuffers.  

Over the next four weeks we will be blessing you with some helpful tips in the hopes that our troubleshooting and go get 'em attitudes will get you through this holiday season!
Naturally increase your endorphins.  Hit the gym or add a yoga class at Prana Yoga Center in Geneva to your work out regimen.

Clear out the clutter.  Start to prep your home for extra guests by not waiting until the last minute.  Make a list of what you will need to unearth from the attic, what you will need to buy and start collecting these party essentials before the night of your event.

Let one thing go.  Do you really have to make 5 home made desserts?  Order early from a great local bakery, like Il Giardino del Dolce in St. Charles.

Forgive someone.
  Did your nephew smash your favorite tchotchke with a football last Thanksgiving?  Did your husband's Aunt Elsie call you by his ex-wife's name?  Take a deep breath and let it go...
 
Recruit some help.  Start a new family tradition where everyone brings an authentic dish to share!  -OR-  Cater your Thanksgiving meal!  Moveable Feast in Geneva offers a delicious "Thanksgiving Feast" menu.

Spruce up your culinary wardrobe.  Nothing makes me more confident than the right outfit for an event.  You take charge of your kitchen in an apron!  Try Anthropolgie for the ladies and for the gentlemen, Sur la Table offers a stylishly handsome and no-nonsense Bartender apron.

What are your coping skills for the holidays?  Share them with us!

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