Tip 1. Stop hosting every year - Some of you are sitting out there right now dreading the idea of Thanksgiving. It's not because you have to fly or drive a long distance to visit family. It's because you are already picturing the throng of family and friends who will be descending on your home for Thanksgiving. I'm taking it back to Nancy Reagan in the 1980s, JUST SAY NO!!! It's time for someone else to put up with everyone's kids running around, tracking up the carpet, and breaking stuff. You have done your duty. If you must host, consider Tip 2.
Tip 2. BYOT (Bring Your Own Thanksgiving) - I'm sure many of you already do this, but ease the burden on yourself by making Thanksgiving a complete potluck affair. I know mom typically stands in the kitchen for three days getting all those dishes cooked to perfection, but it's time to spread the love around. Don't leave the meal to chance either. INFORM your honored guests what they are REQUIRED to bring to make entry. We all have that family member who continues to show up with one 2-liter soft drink. Sorry Billy, that worked in the past, but it is not enough to gain entry into this year's festivities. Do NOT pass Go! Do NOT collect $200.00. If you don't understand this last reference, put the video game controller down and play some board games.
Tip 3. Don't prepare so much food - Let's be honest, this is not the first time your family and friends have eaten a meal. Tom Hanks did not leave the island in Cast Away and come straight to your house for Thanksgiving dinner. You want everyone to have enough to eat, but these are not bears getting ready to hibernate for the winter. If people are still hungry, McDonald's will be open in time for early Black Friday shopping. Go ahead and give them the gift card you had planned to give them for Christmas. Not to mention, breakfast is served all day, so they have plenty of choices on what to eat.
Tip 4. Get them out of your home in time to shop - Black Friday is now known as Thanksgiving. You KNOW that you simply MUST have that big screen TV and it's only available between 4:00 pm and 4:01 pm. Do you really want to be stuck at the house watching people digest the large meals they just finished? Thanksgiving lunch is the key with a firm cutoff time for eating. If people try to linger around, start handing out assignments (clear the table, put away the leftovers, load the dishwasher, etc.). Before long, you will have an empty house and plenty of time to get ready to hit the stores.
I hope all of you have a wonderful, festive, and stress-free Thanksgiving. Then, let's hit the stores!!! Those televisions are not going to buy themselves. Happy Thanksgiving!