Thanksgiving is one week away! One week! How did that happen? If you’re like me, you can’t wait for fall to arrive. It seems to be an eternity, waiting for the season to change. Then, you are thrilled when the weather finally begins to get cool and it “feels like” the holidays. Then, about a week before Thanksgiving, you can’t believe how fast the time has gone! This happens to me every year. Along with that “I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving” comes the slight panic over all that has to get done before that day. Here are a few tips to help you (and me) enjoy more and stress a little less on the big day.
There’s not too much time to plan ahead right now. However, just making sure that you know exactly what needs to be done one week in advance makes a difference. Make sure you know (and even write down) what you need to buy for all the foods you’ll be preparing, all the supplies you may need, all the projects (aside from the usual cleaning) that you want to have done before the guests arrive next Thursday.
Do Whatever Can Be Done Early
Most pies and desserts can be made the day before. Some cleaning and organizing can be done several days before (unless you have little ones who will get into whatever you’ve just organized).
Older children can help set the table, clean, and entertain little ones. Friends might enjoy coming over a little early to chat while helping with final preparations.
Remember that your plans and expectations are not shared by your guests. So rather than letting your expectations taunt you on Thanksgiving, enjoy time with family and friends even if you didn’t get to make everything you’d hoped or decorate exactly as you had envisioned.
What else do you do to ensure that Thanksgiving is more fun than stressful?
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My ideal shopping is done with a hot cup of coffee in one hand as I sit bundled up with a computer on my lap and packages arriving at my door. If I could buy all my groceries that way, I would! However, there are just a few exceptions to my ideal and those usually involve the word “clearance” and getting amazing deals on food.
I know that what we all have on our minds right now is preparing for Thanksgiving and buying Christmas and holiday presents. So, allow me to shed a little happy light on your frenzied preparations. I encourage you to think about both what you’d want to get at clearance prices for Thanksgiving next year, like decorations, decorative paper plates and napkins, baking cups and what you could use the day after Thanksgiving!
While I enjoy getting ahead of the game by getting clearance items for the following year, I get much more excited about clearance items I could use once Thanksgiving has come and gone. Especially if that item is food.
We rarely think about food as a clearance item. However, several years ago a manager in the meat section of my local grocery store told me that they considered ham and turkey to be holiday items, just like all those Thanksgiving decorations. So when those decorations get marked down 40% or 50%, so does the turkey and so does the ham.
I realize that those words may not be music to the ears of people who endure eating turkey one day a year. But for the rest of us who love turkey (especially all the fun meals you can make with all the leftovers), this whole thing is pretty exciting!
Turkey can be stored in a deep freezer for up to one year. For the last couple of years, I have bought as many as I could fit in our freezer. The turkey in my freezer now is one I bought after Christmas. It’s an organic turkey I got for $0.49/lb. It will be this year’s Thanksgiving turkey. Then, on the morning after Thanksgiving, I’ll head over to my grocery store to pick up several to stuff in my freezer for this next year. One of those will be our Christmas turkey and the rest we’ll eat throughout the year. When thrifty means yummy, you know you’ve done something right!
This has been a public service announcement. You’re welcome.
Do you ever buy turkey the day after Thanksgiving?
It seems that there are fines for everything. Don’t park in the wrong spot. Don’t litter. When you are renting your home there are even more ways to get fined. Here are a few ways to avoid fines when living in an apartment.
Claim Your Pets
One of the easiest ways to end up with apartment fines is to not claim your pets or not abide by the leasing agreement regarding your pets. Paying your pet deposit may seem like a lot of money, but it’s nothing like the fine you may have to pay later or possibly eviction. Obey leash laws and clean up after your animal as well. The less attention your pet draws in these areas the less your apartment staff will be annoyed that you have a fur-baby in your care.
Read All Letters Left
Sometimes an apartment complex leaves fun little notes taped to your door. Be sure to read each and every one. There are announcements for apartment inspections and insect spraying as well as social activities on these flyers. They may also tell you that you will need to pay a fine if you are not prepared for the spraying of bugs or your apartment inspection. It is required by law (except in cases where the law has been broken) that they give you notice regarding any apartment visit. Be sure to abide by any other restrictions the letter specifies, such as crating your animals during their visit.
When things break, call maintenance as soon as possible. Keeping your apartment together may be your landlord’s job, but it’s your job to let them know when things need to be fixed. Calling and letting them know that something has broken shows that you care about your living space and keeps repairs from building up. Keep records regarding when you call and when they arrive. This could be helpful when your are more concerned about your living condition than your landlord.
I love these deals! If you eat at Chili’s, why not buy a gift card as a gift and enjoy the freebie for yourself? Or treat yourself to a gift card plus the freebie!
It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and I’ve begun to feel that pressure. You know what I mean, don’t you? The lists. The shopping. The preparations, which send me back to the shopping list. It’s my favorite time of the year. But it can also be such a stressful time in some ways. There are a few things we can do to try to ensure that the season remains calm and bright, rather than harried and exhausting.
Plan Ahead. Plan in advance the kinds of gifts you would like to buy and start comparison shopping to find out where you’ll get your best deal on those items. If you find that there aren’t huge differences in prices between a couple of stores, consolidate. That is, sometimes it’s worth the few extra cents to make one stop instead of two.
Shop Online. My policy is that if I can get it online at the same price or better than what I can get at a local store, I’m doing it! Having a package arrive at my door is my ideal way of shopping. Avoid shipping costs by consolidating online as well. Most sites have a minimum purchase of $35 or $50 to avoid shipping costs. It’s the best way to shop and avoid the hassles of holiday parking and crowds.
Give. This year our family is participating in Operation Christmas Child, a project which is organized by Samaritan’s Purse Ministries. It’s a wonderful way for our children to remember that this time of the year is not simply about getting a bunch of new stuff and comparing their gadgets with those of their friends. Giving to organizations like Samaritan’s Purse provides the opportunity to bring perspective to a highly commercialized special holiday.
What do you do to maintain peace of mind and perspective at this time of the year?
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