thanksgiving is here

Happy Thanksgiving!

Some of you are traveling. Some of you are already at your holiday destination and some of you are celebrating either at your own home or locally somewhere else.

Or, if you live outside the US, you’re probably having a normal weekend. But what do I know of other country’s holidays?

Not much.

I know this post won’t benefit the majority of you because I didn’t get it out earlier, but even if you can’t take advantage of it this year, you can read it and store the ideas away for next year.


Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving Dinner or going to someone else’s house doesn’t matter. But what does matter is what kind of hostess or guest you are.

Are you the kind that is so busy doing everything and cleaning everything that by the time you leave or your guests leave you’re just frazzled and upset?

Or are you the type that takes a vacation from all responsibility during a holiday event, leaving the clean-up for someone else and making the hostess annoyed that you came?

Or are you somewhere in the middle?

Whatever you are, things can change. They don’t have to be that way anymore. And this is why…

{ expect things to change }
Things won’t change if you first don’t expect them to change. If you’ve always done it this way and it’ll always be done this way then of course nothing will be different. But if you want things to be different, that’s a great step in the right direction.

{ voice your expectations }
This is crucial. People can’t read your mind.

No, really. They can’t. So stop making them try. It’s just not very nice.

If you are hosting people at your house, let them know what they can and can’t do. Send an email around listing your expectations – even if you think they should be common sense. Oftentimes they’re not.

For example, it should be common sense that parents take care of their own children. Not so in our family. For some reason, when we all gather at my Mom’s house, it’s my mom who ends up taking care of the kids while the adults play games, etc.

Not good. Especially when you remember that she has 21 grandchildren and all of them will be at her house tomorrow except for three!

So my Mom voiced that expectation this year that she’s not the babysitter. She had me put it in an email and send it to the entire family. We’re all being held accountable for something that we may or may not have realized was happening.

Way to go Mom!

Another thing that should be common sense is the clean-up. If you ate, you should help clean-up. Pretty simple, right?

Nope. Again, it’s another one of those things that can easily be forgotten about if you don’t voice your expectations.

So make a list and check it twice! Oops – that’s Santa’s job.

I sort of forced my mom to make a list this year of chores she wants done when everyone is finished eating and before the tryptophan kicks in and the games begin. I sent this list to everyone that’s coming and had them sign up for what chore they wanted to do.

Easy and done. My Mom won’t be stuck in the kitchen cleaning up after everyone this year. Should’ve been a no-brainer years ago.

{ print the list }
There’s nothing wrong with having the list of chores and other expectations out where everyone can see them. In fact, it’ll be easier to remember what you signed up to do and less threatening if you have to remind someone to do something because it’s written there, in black and white, hanging on the fridge or cupboard door.

{ enforce the expectations }
Now you need to be nice here. Don’t blame me if you come across as a militant cleaning nazi or something like that! Don’t tell your friends that this organizer lady said you had to enforce the expectations.

All you need to do is ask nicely.

Now if you’re not hosting but are going to be a guest at someone else’s house, take the initiative and call the hostess. Ask her what she would like/love to be done while everyone is at her house. Offer to type up a list and email everyone who’s invited. The hostess has enough to worry about without worrying about this.

I hope these ideas are helpful for you not only for this holiday but for any and all large gatherings.

So on that note, have a fabulous holiday and enjoy this time with family and friends.

About organizedbyjenn

Busy wife and mother of 7 children; grew up in Oregon, currently lives in Utah. Loves the outdoors, organizing, crafting, running, and eating chocolate
This entry was posted in Holidays, Organizing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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