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Get Organized for Thanksgivukkah!

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Courtesy of PJlibrary.org

If you haven’t been on Facebook lately or you’re not into pop-culture, you may not have heard the news. This year, for the first time since 1861 and the last time until the year 79,811, the holidays of Thanksgiving and Hannukah land on the same day. To commemorate this special day, the phrase, ‘Thanksgivukkah,’ was coined (and trademarked) by two women in Boston. A Facebook and Twitter account devoted to the day was created and the idea spread like wildfire across the United States.

For many of you, this day is business as usual. Turkey, cranberry sauce, football, and family traditions will be the norm. But for those who celebrate Hannukah as well, this day just became a little more challenging.

One holiday is religious. One is secular. The foods are different. Maybe you celebrate Turkey-day and Latke-day with different people. Celebrating two holidays at once? OY!

If you haven’t already started to plan, here are a few tips for getting organized for the won’t-see-this-again-in-our-lifetime holiday of Thanksgivukkah:

De-clutter Your Brain
You’re probably thinking, “Two holidays? What am I going to do? Where do I start?”
Start by dumping your brain onto a piece of paper or into a productivity app. Write down all the shopping, cooking, gift-giving, prepping and schlepping you’ll need to do for both holidays. Prioritize and then…

Delegate
It’s tough enough preparing for one holiday, but two? You’re going to need to delegate tasks in order to cover the important rituals and traditions of both holidays. If you’re a self-declared perfectionist, this is the time to lose the title. Control freak? LET IT GO. Some tasks to delegate:
• preparation of a Thanksgivukkah side dish
• creating and facilitating games to keep the kiddies occupied
• shopping for gifts
• cleaning up the kitchen
• playing ‘bartender’ for the day
• supplying candles and matches for the menorah/menurkey

A Menurkey–created by a ten year old boy with a Thanksgivukkah dream…

Prepare in Advance
Mise en Place is a French phrase meaning, ‘to have all of your cooking tools and ingredients prepared before you start cooking.’ The key to not stressing out while cooking for two different holidays at once is organization. Review every recipe and take note of what ingredients you’ll need. Also take note of what size measuring cups and spoons you’ll be working with. Do you have enough platters? What dishes need to cook in the oven and which on the stove top? Preparing in advance will prevent kitchen chaos and ‘Harried Hostess-itis.’

Keep it Simple
Two major holidays. One day. ‘Nuff said.

Ways to Keep it Simple:
• Usually, I advise people to make lists and store them in a file or electronically for the next year. You’re celebrating these two holidays together for the first and last time next week. Feel free to jot down notes but I don’t recommend creating a permanent file labeled ‘Thanksgivukkah’ unless you want to look back at it for some reason. I leave that up to you.
• Buy some pre-made food. My husband and I used to make potato latkes from scratch. Then we had two kids. No more latkes from scratch. My savior–Trader Joe’s Potato Pancakes. They are delicious and I don’t stay up half a night cleaning my kitchen.
• Eliminate a ton of side dishes by melding the two holidays in your recipes. Ideas: Sweet potato latkes, challah-chestnut stuffing, pumpkin pie a la mode with Manischewitz ice cream! (delegate the last item to someone with an ice cream maker and time on their hands…)

Latkes? Stuffing? Or both!

It’s been a real hoot reading articles about this once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Here are some interesting and informative ideas about Thanksgivukkah that were cool to read and helped me write this post:

Much of the historical information for this post has been gleaned from articles on the web and this one from Wikipedia.

How to Celebrate Thanksgivukkah, The Best Holiday of All Time
Recipes, decorations and funny stuff

Pinterest does Thanksgivukkah
Food, gifts, decorating and great ideas

Ingeniuous 10-Year Old Creates ‘Menurkey’ for Thanksgivukkah
Never underestimate a child again…

Happy Organized Thanksgivukkah!

Categories: Basic Organizing Principles, Holiday Season

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