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Here it is, holiday season. To many, the thoughts of the happy family gathering ’round the perfectly set dinner table, perfectly coiffed kids, and relatives patiently awaiting the well-timed (and perfectly browned) turkey is a far-fetched vision of a hoped-for realty.

kid-cooking can be your sanity saver

Little ones can easily become your much-needed kitchen assistant and pint-sized sanity saver.

For the rest of us–well, likely all of us, and definitely those of us with a mix of quirky family and small children all at one sitting, the scene more so resembles something from Christmas Vacation.

While you can’t control your crazy Aunt Ellie or your cousin’s precious spoiled six-year old princess Buffy, you can keep your own kids happy and helpful by empowering them in the kitchen. Here are a few of our favorite holiday sanity savers you can do when your kids are beginning to run amuck and will keep the holiday fun, fruitful, and festive (plus the kitchen is a great place to escape from Grandpa!).

Put the kids to work!

Slice, dice, sort, fold. Age dependent, kids can be quite helpful. Younger kids can fold napkins, set them on the table, place plates, sort utensils, and retrieve or put away refrigerator items. Older kids can cut veggies, pour beverages, start a pot of coffee, retrieve food from the oven, and help make some foods, like mashed potatoes or cranberry sauce.

Prep and primp. Little ones can easily become your much-needed kitchen assistant and pint-sized sanity saver. Delegating the wash, rinse, and dry details can include the veggies for the appetizers and salad, potatoes, dusty dishes, or those pots and pans in need of a pre-soak and rinse before the wash. Older kids can be the green-bean-end snapper, cucumber cutter, or soup stirrers.

Clean up. Children of any age can help –from moving dishes off the table to loading the dishwasher; sweeping the floor to rinsing pans; or covering leftovers.. Growing up, as 8-15 year olds, we always had to either clear the table, wipe dishes dry, or put them away. In our house, it was not an option.

As you can see, if thought through, your kids can be one of your biggest sanity savers during the holidays. While many other parents are lamenting that they can not manage the preparations along with the in-law madness, your family can enjoy a little piece of mind with a fresh perspective.

Do you have a sanity saver tip that has worked for you during the holidays? Send us a note. We would love to hear from you.

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