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Chef Mama's Approach to The Upcoming Holidays


by Shelleen McHale  |  3521 views  |  1 comment  |        Rate this now! 

Do you ever come into the holidays and feel like you are training for a marathon? It is almost like taking a big breath for a month and then letting it out after the holidays are over. Let’s focus on Thanksgiving first…one thing at a time, as I say to my kids. Or better yet…focus! Just focus on one holiday at a time.

As moms we have the tendency to try and do so many things at once which causes us to go through feelings of being overwhelmed and then feelings of guilt. This holiday season I want to help remove some of the stress and implant the joy that holidays are suppose to bring…family, friends, smiles, stories, great meals and the making of memories.

As we get close to Thanksgiving, I would like to challenge you to come up with ways to express thankfulness. I am going to share a couple simple ideas but would love to hear from other moms that want to share their ideas. Please send your ideas to (And then, I will give some fabulous turkey left over ideas.)

The Thankful Tree or Wreath

This is a simple way to get everyone that will be together on Thanksgiving the opportunity to share what it is they are thankful for. Don’t worry, if you are shy or know other family members that are, there is a way to share without people having to know who shared what.

Thankful Tree supplies

  • Leaves that are pre-cut our of paper or light foam (you can use edible leaves as well and add to cakes, cupcakes, etc.)
  • Permanent markers
  • Fake tree cut out of paper, poster board or large piece of foam. You can get real creative and use a real branch too.
  • As the guest arrive, give each one 2-3 leaves and ask them to write what they are most thankful for this year.
  • Have a basket or bowl for them to place their written on leaves in.

Randomply place two or three leaves next to each persons plate, and when everyone sits down for dinner you go around the table and ask each person to read their leaves. **Far too often we are just happy to have the meal on the table and we just dive in without thinking. This is a great way to get everyone to stop and think.

Or you can attach the leaves to your tree and have it in the center of the table. Ask each person to choose one of the leaves that they felt was the best and read it out loud.

Thankful Wreath

It's very similar to the tree, but using a wreath shape--you can use leaves or hand prints to make the actual wreath. Just follow the directions above for making the tree.

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