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Your Thanksgiving spread doesn't need to be perfect

Thursday - 11/22/2012, 7:04am  ET

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This Thanksgiving dinner doesn't even look real - so take it easy and don't aim for perfection. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON - Ever feel like your holiday table has to look a certain way, or everything will be ruined? It isn't uncommon to expect the spread to be pristine, especially if you're hosting a holiday party or dinner.

But, this isn't a Norman Rockwell painting.

"The idea of perfectionism only sets us up for a sense of failure and disappointment. The rest of the year they're not perfect, so why should the holiday be perfect?"

Psychotherapist David Sternberg of D.C. Talk Therapy encourages everyone to take it easy when preparing their meals, and most importantly, don't try to take on more than you can handle.

"Whatever it might be, you don't have to be superwoman or superman this time of year. It's too much to ask because there's too much to do."

A Martha Stewart Thanksgiving isn't realistic. So enjoy your time and food, and don't sweat the small stuff.

WTOP intern Carolyn Bick contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)