Holiday Strategies: How to Caregive and Put a Turkey on the Table
Remember when you were a kid and all you had to do on Thanksgiving was to show up and eat? Caregiving is stressful enough, throw in a couple of holidays you have to do the cooking for—in back to back months—and somebody’s likely to get hurt. The holidays have so many emotional fishhooks—childhood memories (not all good), expectations, in-laws, money issues, a spike in depressions…you get lambasted from every side. Caregiving is all-consuming and complicated enough without adding all these “festive” pressures.
How to Caregive and Put a Turkey on the Table:
Lower your expectations—nix the china and go with Chinet. Pick up frozen pies and cool whip. You can make homemade meringue another year. This year—it’s survival!
Who says you have to cook the turkey yourself? I know, you like cooking the turkey and people like it. Do it if it means that much to you, but be aware it’s not just the cooking involved here. It’s the buying, prepping, storing, and clean up—do you really love it that much? Wouldn’t you like it if they missed you one year and really raved about how good your turkey is?
Just the two of you? Eat out, cater it, or join with neighbors for the holidays. We think everyone else’s house is filled with family—dozens of them. Not true, many families can’t get together for the holidays, and many people are childless. So create your own holiday traditions and enjoy a new gathering of folks.
Go un-traditional. Who says you have to eat turkey? Go for take-out Chinese, shrimp and crab legs, or pizza—this may feel like a day off and who wants to spend their day off in the kitchen? Mix it up and do whatever feels easy—and fresh.
It’s not all about food. Rent movies, play board or card games. Get out the Christmas tree and start decorating. Don’t feel like doing any of that? Turn on the Macy’s Day Parade, eat pie and call it a day. Enjoy this holiday in a way that’s most satisfying—to you.
Don’t forget the thanks. Thanksgiving is a unique holiday. No other country does it quite like us. Even with our economic downturn, many of our family members in the military, and with the strains of caregiving, we have so much to be thankful for. A home. Each other. Good food—whatever our choosing.
Life is still good.