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9 Things Only Thanksgiving Dinner Planners Understand

9 Things Only Thanksgiving Dinner Planners Understand

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I am very appreciative of my life and the people in it, and I am proud to live in a country that has set aside a day to be thankful. Thanksgiving allows us to focus on the people in our lives–the people sitting around our table. Here are 9 things only Thanksgiving dinner planners would understand.

1. The appropriate time to have a drink is whenever the cooking starts.

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    Many people use the saying that “it’s happy hour somewhere”. On Thanksgiving happy hour can be at 7 in the morning, because you always cook better with a little wine in your system. Food tastes better with a little wine or booze in it too. Bourbon sweet potatoes, anyone? A cup of white wine inside the turkey keeps it moist. I subscribe to the “one cup of alcohol for the recipe, and one one cup of alcohol for me” technique. This technique is a far cry from being trained in a French cooking school, but it is a lot more fun.

    2. You can never have too many folding chairs.

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      Most tables seat six or eight people. Folding chairs are small and fit in the corners nicely. You can also pair them with the folding table in your garage (it’s out there, probably behind the Christmas decorations). The best people to put into folding chairs are children or guests you may feel impartial about. If you are a guest in a folding chair, you may not be as close to the host as you thought. The folding chair occupant should probably have a plan B location for next year because chances are good you may not be invited back to this house.

      3.  You can never have too many side dishes.

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        Let’s face it.  The turkey is the centerpiece, but turkey does not exactly have the same taste as baby back ribs. Oh sure, I make it more interesting by filling it with white wine, but I am eyeing the sweet potato casserole or creamed corn long before I make it to the turkey. Turkey is the only meat triathletes eat. How satisfying could it possibly be?

        4. If you live somewhere where you can, eat outside.

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        firstthx

          If you live somewhere where you cannot even imagine eating Thanksgiving outside because of weather, maybe you should consider moving. Believe it or not there are states in this country where the weather will be 75 degrees and sunny on Thanksgiving. Eating outside really brings home the giving thanks idea. Thanksgiving is about the first settlers giving thanks for their first bountiful harvest. It is about celebrating our reliance on the land and the land taking care of us. You can really appreciate the land more when you are outside.

          5. If you are eating outside, hang small white lights in the trees.

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            I am talking about the small Christmas lights. They are festive all year long. They really can make an outside space feel warm and inviting.

            6. When all your guests cannot walk around each other’s chairs to get seconds, that’s okay.

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              Our houses were not built to serve a a 12-person dinner. The table will all of a sudden no longer fit in the room where it has fit all year long. People won’t be able to get past the other chairs to bring their plate to the kitchen or to get seconds. Don’t worry about it. In fact if you use my one cup for the food and one cup for me concept you’ll be too buzzed to care. Which leads me to my next point…

              7.  Getting too buzzed to care is the best way to prepare for Thanksgiving.

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                I am not advocating you cook drunk. We use too many sharp knives, hot pans and ovens to be drunk. What I am saying is enjoy the day. Enjoy the cooking, setting the table and even cleaning up. Thanksgiving is about spending time with friends and family, not about everything going perfect. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If the place cards are sloppy or a pie is under cooked, nobody cares.

                8. Food tastes better when you cook with the Macy’s Day Parade on the television in the background.

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                  I don’t know why this is the case. It just is. Maybe the parade creates some sort of mystical occurrence in the kitchen.

                  9. Food tastes better when it is cooked with love.

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                    People can tell when you cook with love. Cooking for and feeding someone is the ultimate sign of love. Without nourishment, people die. When you feed others, you are taking care of them on a very fundamental level. I love to cook. However, I love to cook for my wife and kids more. It is my way of taking care of them and showing that I love them.

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                    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

                    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                    The result: no more mental stress.

                    2. Unplug

                    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                    3. Easy on the Caffeine

                    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                    The result: mental stress will be gone!

                    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                    Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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