How to prepare yourself for the Holiday Season. It’s a doozy!
Tis the season for food, family, and memories – and boy could we use it after the epic year that has been 2020. Yet, as we approach this festive time of year, something looms in the back of every mother’s mind… “Incoming! Here comes the family. Here comes the shopping. I’ve got this, t-minus 26 days until Thanksgiving and 55 days until Christmas.” That’s 55 days of sheer full throttle and a glued-on smile that will not be moved, not even by El Niño. Yes mamas, start your engines because it is time for the incoming wave of to do’s, late night planning, and of course – in-laws.
No worries, LUXYMOM® – we are here to help set you up for success, as we feel your pain. Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE the holidays – but let’s be real and admit that it is a real doozy. I feel like my husband and I high-five on January 1st like we just ran a marathon.
I sit and worry over planning out dinner menus for folks that have all different requests and allergies. Or do you do this one? I practically reorganize and redesign my home before my in-laws come. I am on my knees scrubbing because I subconsciously prepare for emotional warfare. True story.
So, this year, I decided that I was going to be less stressed and more in the moment. One of the main tools I am using is to plan menus ahead. When I make the menus ahead I plan it all out down to the cocktails and write out the grocery list at the same time. I like using templates that keep me organized like this one.
Reach out and ask for everyone’s favorite dish for the holiday season and put it on the menu. I like making menus and sending them out like dinner invitations and it gives a personal feel to each person. Each person’s taste is represented at the table. Here, you can see an example of a dinner menu.
After your menu is planned, try having your groceries delivered this year! I feel like lately going to the market is like an episode of Hunger Games and I can’t even imagine when it gets closer bingo. Slow clap for those military people that got that pun.
One of my friends turned me onto grocery delivery before the “Great Pandemic” and I honestly thought she was being extra, but I must say, it is pretty amazing. Like Pizza Hut for Publix! I also don’t have to deal with the hassle of my daughter trying to mentally chess move me into buying her something at the store. She is clever, that one.
Another great trick I like using for a bed and breakfast feel is to use an upscale laundry detergent on the spare bedroom bedding and towels. I love the items from the Laundress, and you can read about their products in our article on them also this month. This product is used in upscale hotels, and the aroma is so wonderful it penetrates the entire house. I use Le Labo Rose 31, and my guests’ senses are enveloped in luxury all the way from their bedding to the towels I set up in their room. It is that little extra touch of elegance that makes a trip a little bit better. Any points with the in-laws are a swoosh in our book!
It has also become a tradition in my home that every year my friend and I alternate hosting one holiday at one another’s home. This allows two of us in the kitchen and the kiddos to be entertained elsewhere while we conquer the cooking mountain. It also encourages the guests to socialize and stay out of the kitchen for those extra tips they like to add. Nothing like a Turkey Day back-seat cooker.
This has allowed us over the years to split up the menus and even add different ethic traditions onto the menu. She is Cuban and we throw in some off-the-menu items as an extra bonus. Last year we did a nod to England as her husband is English, and I had for the first time Yorkshire Pudding. Yes, I am hooked. This has made the actual day of cooking so much more fun, rather than crazy and stressful. I absolutely adore cooking with my friend, and it is like an all-day party instead of a day of running around checking on people. Give it a try!
This year we all deserve to relax and enjoy the holiday season. Remember, the greatest part of the holiday season is spending time with your loved ones, so don’t fret. Pull your kiddos into the kitchen, start a new tradition and cook with friends, or simply have your groceries delivered to take one thing off of your plate. This year, the incoming wave of holiday cheer doesn’t have to be stressful – ride that wave with elegance and enjoy every minute of it!