Why Holiday Delegation Is Awesome
Who else is sitting here thinking, “OMG, what? Thanksgiving is next week?” I sort of starting to get my head around the impending holiday season last week when Asha and I recorded a podcast episode about easier holiday food, but now I’m really thinking about it.
One thing I am a huge proponent of is embracing holiday delegation; in particular as it relates to food, which can be an overwhelming responsibility when hosting. So today I wanted to share 7 reasons why I feel that holiday food delegation is awesome. After you finish this post, take a look at your Thanksgiving food prep plan and START DELEGATING!
1. Delegating food responsibilities starts the holiday off with unity
Bringing family together can be stressful. I get it. But delegating via potluck means you start the holiday off with a unifying gesture as soon as everyone walks through the door. I love that.
2. It provides an opportunity for helping and learning
When your family members are given a Thanksgiving potluck assignment, it opens a window to inspire helping. When my Mom asked us what we wanted to bring for Thanksgiving, Laurel immediately said, "Can we make pies? Can I roll out the crusts?" Use the occasion as a way to get your kids in the kitchen with you. They'll learn great skills that will pave the way for ultimate mealtime independence.
3. You'll discover new dishes
Ever been in a food rut (like, yesterday)? One of my favorite things about potluck is discovering new yummy dishes. Major bonus when we discover a dish that Laurel and/or Violet inhales!
4. Culinary "discord" can be awesome
Some control freaks (ahem) fret about food harmony. At one level, I get that, but really, culinary discord can be awesome. One of the things I love about Koh family potlucks is that they're such a fun mish mash. Thanksgiving usually includes traditional fare like turkey, but also lots of Korean favorites (mandu! chap chae!) and then other random items. There are a million side dishes! And it's perfect if you have vegetarians who aren't into the traditional turkey and stuffing.
5. Food creates conversation
When you have a meal prepared by many hands, you're guaranteed conversation around the different dishes, where the recipes came from, kitchen mishaps, and the like.
6. You'll have more time for goofing off
Seriously, think about all of the hours of kitchen labor you'll be spared by preparing 1-2 dishes instead of the entire spread. More hours for fun and games = win.
7. You may discover awesome new delegation strategies
So, this last point is the accidental inspiration for this post. My mom used to be one of those people who made the entire meal (for 20 or so people usually!). Things are different now; she's older, she's in a smaller home, her children are all grown and capable of helping. One year when she sent around her potluck roster, she listed the foods people had signed up to bring and also (brilliantly, in my opinion) assigned each person one paper good item (paper towels, plastic cups, paper plates, napkins, Ziploc bags, tin foil) to bring. Since we have so many people assembling, we always have tons of food, lots of mess, and lots of leftovers. My mom’s delegation strategy freed up the need to wash dinner dishes, and ensured that there were materials for people to take home leftovers, all while distributing the cost of supplies. Seriously, mothers know best!