Countdown to Thanksgiving: Keep it cool at your family gathering with a bit of gratitude

(CNN) - It might seem like a long way off - and a world away for people still reeling from recent storms - but two weeks from now, you're likely going to sitting down to a dinner with loved ones (and a stranger or two), and feeling exceptionally lucky to be doing so.

Gratitude is the watchword, and it's incredibly easy to lose sight of that while you're bogged down in the details of serving a dinner that packs a certain amount of expectation. So how about giving yourself a break?

This doesn't mean that you're not making your best effort to ensure that your guests have a great time, or that the dish you're bringing isn't as painstakingly made as it possibly could be. We're just saying that the warmth and welcome with which it's served will linger even longer than the leftovers.

Consider printing out these mantras and cross-stitching them on throw pillows or possibly taking them to the tattoo parlor:

1. Don't be a martyr, be a host.

2. You can never, ever have too much ice.

3. If they're your guests, they're very likely rooting for you.

4. Accepting offers of Thanksgiving help is a sign of sanity & inclusion not weakness.

5. There is no such thing as too much stock or too many containers for leftovers.

And a word to the wise - the sooner you get a beverage or appetizer into your guests' hands, or assign them the task of doing so, the more quickly they'll ease into the swing of things.

Un-buckle up, follow our ongoing Thanksgiving advice, and get set to have an absolutely delicious day.

If all else fails, repeat after us: "It's just a meal. It's just a meal. It's just a meal..."