Friendship Tara Ziegmont, best Thanksgiving EverIt’s less than two weeks until ‘Turkey Day’ and the pre-holiday stress is building in a lot of our homes. How can we actually celebrate this season of gratitude without stressing over all-things-Thanksgiving?

It just part of most of our holidays – the stress from expectations to have big, fancy meals on Thanksgiving, to have a beautiful table and to all act like we’re enjoying every second of the day while many of us are just medicating our stress with tryptophan and maybe some wine.

Thankfully we’ve got just the girlfriend for girlfriend advice on taking the stress out of Thanksgiving.

Meet TARA ZIEGMONT – author of ‘Best Thanksgiving EVER.’ Tara is a blogger, mom and busy woman who decided to re-claim the spirit of Thanksgiving instead of stress by preparing and planning ahead. Here’s her great girlfriend advice. And, it starts now, with this great guest blog! (Thanks Tara!)Thanksgiving quote Erma Bombeck diets

5 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. My husband and I have hosted the holiday for our families every year that we’ve lived together. Every single year, through pregnancies and bed rest and teeny little babies, we’ve hosted between 8 and 15 people for a fantastic holiday meal.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My husband and I have a great Thanksgiving system. It works so well that we wrote an eBook about it.

We start by doing the 5 things below. We share the work in the days before Thanksgiving, and then we sit back and enjoy our friends and family.

The only task we haven’t found a way to simplify is the washing of the dishes. No amount of planning can get those out of the way.

1. Plan ahead. This should really be #1, #2, #3, and #4; it’s that important. Sit down today (don’t wait!) and write down every single thing you need to do between now and Thanksgiving Day. Schedule the tasks out so that you are doing some this week, some next week, and some the week of the holiday. If you leave everything til that week, you will be frazzled and overwhelmed.

2. Clean now. Cleaning is typically my biggest headache – and the thing I put off the most. We all want our homes to be spotless for our beloved guests, right? So do the deep cleaning now, several weeks ahead of time, and just do a quick touch up a day or two before Thanksgiving.

3. Cook early. It’s not necessary to prepare and cook every dish on Thanksgiving Day. If you choose recipes wisely, there are plenty of dishes that can be made a day (or even two!) ahead of time and cooked on Thanksgiving Day. If you could push half of the cooking back a day, think of how much easier Thanksgiving morning would feel.

4. Make lists. Now, while you are feeling no pressure, create a shopping list, a list of cooking tools and dishes you’ll use, and a list of serving pieces you’ll need. After you make the lists, use them. Check them against what you actually have so that you’ll know exactly what you need to buy, clean, and locate before Thanksgiving.

5. Give up perfect. Planning is super important, but this is the most important item on the list. Give up your idea of the perfect Thanksgiving. Forget it. I have personally hosted seven Thanksgiving dinners, and I have never had a perfect day. Something always happens; no day goes off without a hitch. Get over it. Forgive yourself now for forgetting the olives or whatever else may happen.

TARA ZIEGMONT is a professional blogger and blog coach. She created an internationally-syndicated, award-winning blog called Feels Like Home in 2007 while working full time as a high school science teacher. She continues to publish it today, while coaching clients who pursue profitable blogging careers. Tara and her husband, Joe, and their two small girls live in Pennsylvania. She is the author of ‘Best Thanksgiving EVER.’

Girlfriends – what are you doing for Thanksgiving? What are you doing to reduce the stress over the holidays? Share your girlfriend advice!

More girlfriend inspiration on Thanksgiving: (check these out for great Thanksgiving quotes and videos to share!)

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