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5 tips to eliminate holiday stress


Cooking, shopping and eating - this is the recipe for many Hudson Valley families’ Thanksgiving Day. With a house full of hungry relatives, how is anyone supposed to relax during the holidays? Take a deep breath and utilize these  tips for your next feast:

1. Plan your travels. Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel holidays and it's easy to see why with families splitting time between both sets of grandparents. If you're planning to spend the holiday at multiple locations, it's a good idea to sit down and coordinate your travel and arrival times. Figure out how long it will take you to travel from location to location and then work backwards to figure out how much time you can spend at each location.

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2. Communicate with family. Communication is crucial to surviving the holiday season. Don’t be afraid to make special requests. Family members are usually willing to cooperate. The sooner you can plan your holiday, the better! It’s also important to note that you can’t control everything, so don’t worry about cancellations or changed plans.

3. Round up sous chefs. Chef Josh Kroner of Terrapin keeps his cool as he cooks for 150 people each Thanksgiving by having at least ten people in the kitchen to help him out. Take a page out of his book and ask your family members to grab an apron.

4. Hold a pot luck feast. Not everyone has a kitchen big enough to accommodate ten helpers, so why not host a pot luck? Ask each guest to make their own offerings and bring them in on the big day. Before the big day, plan out which dish you'll ask everyone to bring that way you don't end up with 5 green bean casseroles!

5. Relax, no one is perfect. Everyone wants to throw a Thanksgiving dinner that's fit for a Hallmark Card, but that's not reality and it doesn't have to be. As long as you're with your family and making memories, the holiday is a success. So take a deep breath, no one will remember ten years from now if the Turkey was a little dry or if the table linens were a little wrinkled. However, they will remember all the great chats and fun they had.

READ MORE: 40 ways to start a new family tradition

Brittany L. Morgan is the Web Editor and Executive Assistant to the Publisher at Hudson Valley Parent. This year she'll be spending a stress-free Thanksgiving with her fiance and his family in Mahopac.