UNITED STATES─Wow, it is hard to believe that in a mere 3 weeks, Thanksgiving will be upon us. The holiday that is all about bonding with family and having a gluttonous feast is a fast-approaching. So the question you have to ask is rather you are hosting dinner or will you be attending someone else’s house? Last year, I helped host dinner with the assistance of my older brother. It burnt me out America. While I am someone who loves to cook, the amount of cooking one indulges in during the holidays can be a bit much at times.

I mean we started prep work on Monday, and come Turkey Day we still had plenty of dishes that were still not ready. I think the biggest thing I recall is we literally did all the cooking. He prepared most of the meats, while I worked on side dishes and desserts. The big thing for me when it comes to Thanksgiving is having options, but I’ve discovered if you’re NOT planning to eat anything, you should NOT be preparing a dish. Nothing is worse than wasting food in my opinion, when you have so many people without food.

So with less than 3 weeks from the big cooking day, it’s time to make a decision: cook or not to cook. If you’re cooking you need to plan what dishes you are making and what other dishes people may or may not bring to the table. If you’re cooking it’s time to purchase that bird and at least have an idea of how big of a bird you will need. Please don’t be one of those Americans who wait till the day before Thanksgiving to purchase the bird and expect it to be ready for cooking. It will not be people, and procrastination will be your downfall if you’re cooking.

Now, prepare a menu, what do you want to cook and what do you not want to cook. Not everyone cooks the same, and the taste of one person’s dish can be vastly different than someone else. Be certain about what you want to cook and don’t overdo it. If you know what you’re cooking and what you’re not, it’s never a bad idea to start a bit of grocery shopping to pick up those items for your feast. However, be careful of picking up items that might have a short-shelf life like fruits and veggies. Those are better purchased maybe a week or a few days before Thanksgiving. You never want anything to go to waste people.

That is the problem I endured last year. I cooked too many dishes and it left me exhausted and not in the best way. By the time it was ready to eat, all I wanted to do was sleep. I was so burnt out, that I had no energy to mingle or chat with guests or family.

If you have people bring dishes it significantly cuts down on food preparation and space in your refrigerator. Trust me you can have the largest fridge in the world, but it still will not be enough come Thanksgiving. You find yourself prepping much more than you can imagine and when it’s all said and done that is not the purpose of Thanksgiving. You are too bond with family and friends, not cook till you drop.

Written By Kelsey Thomas