The holiday season is upon us and if you’re anything like my family and I, each year you say you are NOT hosting at your home next year, only to turn around and host at your home again the next year, and the next year…you get my drift.
I really have no good earthly explanation for why we do this, but we do. And we go all out. You know what the problem with going all out is though? Guessed it yet? No?
Ok, I will tell you, it’s that no matter what you do, how much you prepare, how much you pray, yoga, meditate and do whatever else you do to Zen and stay on top of things, something(s) WILL go wrong. So, I will give y’all a few tips to help you not lose all of your ish when you decide to host Thanksgiving Dinner this year.
1. NIX THE NEW RECIPE… M’KAY?
I love all those food networks shows just like the rest of us, but this is not the time to experiment and try out that new sweet potato pie recipe. First of all, you stick to what granny or mama taught you and that’s that. DO NOT go experimenting with a new way to do this. YOU WILL FAIL. And be talked about for years to come. Trust me on this. Also, this idea can only go two ways great or not so great. 50/50 is too risky. If all else fails…Patti Pie.
2. IF YOU CAN’T COOK IT, ENLIST SOMEONE WHO CAN.
My husband’s cousin makes this amazing crawfish cornbread. AMAZING. She’s given me the recipe; do you know I botched that bread all 12 times I attempted to make it? The last time I was extra upset with myself because crawfish tails are NOT cheap y’all. I quit trying because no one was eating it and everyone wanted HER bread. She makes it now, no extra help required. If you don’t know how to do it, find someone who can be verified to do it. Blessed be.
3. DON’T GO CRAZY CLEANING YOUR HOUSE.
Listen, Linda, Linda. If you didn’t start the deep cleaning at least a week before, don’t start now. Do the best you can, throw ish in closets and worry about it later. You have other things to worry about, like cooking for all those guests your spouse decided to add to the guest list that weren’t on the %$^% list 3 days ago.
4. EAT AS YOU GO.
Most people say this is a bad idea. Don’t listen to them, as a matter of fact block them, you don’t need that type of negativity in your life. Look, 9 times out of 10 when you finally get a chance to sit down and even look at your plate, someone will need help with something, (that person is more than likely your spouse or child) and your food will be ice cold before you see it again because everyone—and I mean everyone—will then need you for all the things you didn’t even know existed before. Eat as you cook and go and you won’t be as hungry. Thank me later.
5. PUT THE KIDS TO WORK.
They are around for a reason. Use them. But only for age appropriate things; give them something too advanced and you might as well cancel the whole dinner.
6. DON’T DEPEND ON ANYONE TO BRING WHAT THEY SAID THEY WOULD BRING
Go to Costco or Sam’s and stock up on all paper goods and drinks you will need. I guarantee someone will forget. Understanding that you are hosting means you are shelling out the most money, and people sometimes forget. Or lie. Either way, you don’t want to be the person who hosted a dinner that had plates but no forks, napkins but no red solo cups.
7. IGNORE FAMILY ARGUMENTS
In our house during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, football is watched, wine and beer are consumed, and games (preferably spades, dominoes and Uno) are played. This will ALWAYS lead to some type of argument. YOU STAY OUT OF IT ALL. Trust me, nothing worse than having to down a whole bottle of wine because your family wants you to play referee to their madness. Repeat after me, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” And finally…
Being a host is hard. Everyone wants a piece of you, it will seem only you or maybe your spouse can fix an issue, and honestly, you’ll want to hug, touch and speak to everyone who crosses the threshold in your home. SO, enjoy it.