• Wendy Wrzos

Getting it done - a last minute guide to an organized Thanksgiving


It's the day before Thanksgiving, and there's such a sense of urgency in the air that it is starting to feel a bit unpleasant... As we scramble to claim our free turkey at the supermarket, we find ourselves glaring at the boxes of Christmas lights, piled precariously high next to us, holding our breath, and trying not to swear at the person who just rammed their shopping cart into the back of our ankles.


We're extremely lucky, even privileged, to have these kind of problems, yet this time of year brings out the best and the worst in all of us (and, it really does hurt when someone hits your ankles with their shopping cart). Seemingly normal people take leave of their senses, and agonize over the best way to set the table, and what type of pie is their favorite. Should we really adhere to the one pound per person way of buying our turkey? And, if I have three people, should I buy a three pound pigeon instead? These types of conundrums are what ties our stomachs in knots, but it doesn't have to be this way.


With less than 24 hours to go until Thanksgiving, here's a quick guide to getting organized, getting things done, and enjoying tomorrow...

p.s. If you're really strapped for time, and starting to panic, skip to the last idea and play the Either/Or game :-)

  • Make a list of absolutely everything you would like to do before tomorrow. Regardless of how long that list is or how silly it seems (eg, plan what you're wearing, peel the carrots, take the dog to the kennel, vacuum, wipe the front door down, pay your mortgage, tweeze your eyebrows, have a shower etc.).

  • Take a minute, and ruthlessly cross off anything that really can wait until Friday.

  • Look at the rest, and find things that have a specific timeline attached to them and group those together (eg. does the dog have to go to the kennels by 2 pm, the pie in the oven by 8 pm, and the mortgage paid by 5 pm?).

  • Organize what's left into two groups - chores that take you outside; driving to a place or running an errand, and the others that can be done at home (inside household chores, baking, cleaning etc).

  • Plan your day according to the above lists, ending up with the household chores being at the very end of the day when you're home for the night.

  • If you find yourself getting stuck for time, adjust your plans, and remember that a little bit of compromise makes a big difference. Decide to have fun with your time crunch and make choices with the "Either/Or" game - vacuum or dust, store-bought or homemade, paper plates or china, faux or real, Brussels sprouts or green beans, pie or cake...

Really, when you think about it, it's impossible to do it all, and even less possible to do it all perfectly, so what are we really striving for? If what we truly want is a day of great food, family and friends, then we should adjust our process to meet our goals. Let's do less, do it as well as we can, and spend the day celebrating and being thankful for all that we have!

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