5 Tips on How to De-Stress and Make this Thanksgiving Extraordinary

I know the holidays can be stressful.

But these past 19 months have also been stressful. And, if you’re anything like me, you may have forgotten what the holidays look like – in normal settings.

Sure, many of us have celebrated since this craziness started back in March 2020, but there is always something that reminds us the world isn’t quite back to normal.

Maybe it’s your mom or grandpa who is nervous about the spread of this virus…and they’ve let you know, in no uncertain terms, that they aren’t sure if hugging is okay.

Maybe it’s your neighbours who are used to being part of your celebrations but they aren’t certain if this is the year that things return to normal.

Or maybe it’s you who is thinking about all the simple things that were second nature – like sharing a giant charcuterie board – that now might have to be presented a bit differently.

I’m not saying people are terrified. I actually don’t think they are. I think this Thanksgiving feels the most “normal” that many people have felt in a long time. But, even just trying to decipher the information around us about how we ‘should’ be behaving, is stressful in and of itself.

So, I decided to write this weeks blog post  – with one week to go before our Canadian Thanksgiving – about how to de-stress this holiday.

1. Maybe This Year Your Are Ordering Your Turkey:

Maybe this is the year that you de-stress by just focusing on the sides (which is easy because when you do potluck and a few family members pitch in, the sides are simple). If you need some ideas for sides, I got you covered!

How about my make ahead mashed potatoes? So good!!!

make ahead mashed potatoes

Questions about brussel sprouts? Click here…and if you’ve never prepped a brussel sprout, I got you covered too! Click here on how to prep brussel sprouts

how to prep brussel sprouts

And these are Thanksgiving brussel sprouts prepped my favourite way… check here for the recipe

2.  Maybe This Year Your Are Ordering Your Sides:

If you just want to focus on the turkey and buy the sides this year, you can opt for a smaller turkey dish for smaller gatherings … you may want to make my  bacon wrapped cranberry and apple stuffed turkey breast roll

But if you have enough people to eat a whole turkey, make sure you check out my post on cooking an epic turkey

bacon wrapped turkey

3.  Maybe This Year You Shouldn’t Re-Invent Dessert!

Don’t stress about trying out that dessert that takes 3 days to make. This year, let’s keep it simple. Need a classic dessert!  Well look no further! This is my recipe for a classic pecan pie 

Classic Pecan Pie with Williams Sonoma

This simple apple dessert is a good one! It’s from an old Bon Apetit magazine!! The recipe for this apple almond turnover is right here!

apple turnover

4. Maybe This Year Your Are ordering Your Whole Meal:

Maybe you just want to totally take it easy and spend ALL of your free time playing with the kids or going for a really nice walk. Maybe this is the year you say, “let’s leave the cooking to someone else for a change”.  This is the year that you can throw guilt out the window and CHOSE to give up the reigns in the kitchen. If you just want to see some really yummy autumn recipes, there are plenty in the cookbook you can leaf through! Here are some thanksgiving dishes you might find yummy to have on your table that are in Just Crumbs Baked:

Rustic Apple Squares (page 125):

Fancy (but easy) Baked Brie (page 255):

Poached Pear Pies with Pear Syrup (page 138):

Pumpkin Spiced Sticky Buns (page 162):

Pumpkin Pear Streusel Muffins (page 48):

5. Just Chill and be Grateful!

Regardless of what you choose to do this holiday weekend, we can all agree that looking back at these past few years with gratitude – even for the small things – is good for the soul. If you need a place to start, you can take a peek here at a post I wrote a few years back on being grateful

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! This coming weekend, may you find peace in your hearts and gratitude in your soul…

Here’s to a stress-free and love-filled holiday! xo

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