The holidays can be a magical time of the year. From the amazing food to spending time with loved ones, there are so many things to enjoy this time of year. But let’s face the facts. Cooking two massive meals a month apart can be a lot. And if you’re not the best cook, it can be incredibly overwhelming. So today I’m sharing all my best tips for how to survive and host the holidays even if you can’t cook.
Order your meal
This may seem like cheating but I’d argue it’s a wonderful way to win the holidays. And it’s actually something we do for one of the two holidays each year. A few years ago, I did a marathon Thanksgiving morning. My mom and step-dad came into town to celebrate in Atlanta and enjoy the black friday options. But my mom is a nurse and only had a few days off. We’d tried cooking our own large version the year before for just the 3 of us. In the end, mom and I decided it was way too much work to do for both holidays. So instead of us spending hours in the kitchen, we opted to order our Thanksgiving meal from Whole Foods. I picked it up two days before and all mom had to do morning of was heat it up. Less wasted food and more time that we could spend enjoying the holiday. We loved it so much that it’s actually become a tradition to order one of our holiday meals depending on which one mom has to work.
My first year in film, we decided to start Friendsgiving. I don’t quite remember how it started but it’s still going strong. But here’s the thing, not all of my friends can cook. In fact, my best friend who is probably reading this will tell you she isn’t the best so she brings the roasted chicken each year. If you’re a rubbish cook, offer to pick up a pie or cake. Maybe you can be in charge of the wine. Spread it out amongst friends or family and it won’t seem so overwhelming. When we did it last year, we had a slew of guys who couldn’t cook and they all brought wine. As long as you contribute something, no one will care that you aren’t top chef.
Have A Co-Host
I will never understand how my grandmother hosted all the holidays for so many years. All the food that she prepped and then we ate on for days, it still amazes me. And the idea of hosting something so large can become very overwhelming quickly. So instead of doing it on your own, find a co-host to lend a hand. This way you aren’t thinking about prepping six things for the stuffing and the pie you still have to make. Instead, you can make an amazing pie, even if it’s frozen, and your partner in crime can create epic stuffing.
Play To Your Strengths
Now if you’ve read all this and still think, yep there’s no way I can make a holiday meal it’s okay. I’ve got you covered. The biggest tip I can give you for winning the holidays is to play to your strengths. If you’re amazing at decor and have the space to host your family, offer the space and take care of the decorations and drinks. Then rope your mom or your brother or whomever into the cooking. This way the set up, cooking and cleaning doesn’t all land on one person. And you’ll have contributed without burning the house down. Find whatever your thing is and make it work for you. Whether that’s excellent taste in wine or the ability to create a holiday atmosphere like know other, play to your strengths and hopefully you’ll find more joy and less stress in the holidays.
However you decide to celebrate this year, I hope your holidays are filled with lots of love and joy. Remember it’s the time of year to enjoy spending time with everyone. Don’t stress about the small stuff. And even if it still all seems overwhelming, remember you’ve got this!