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20 Tips For Hosting a Stress Free Thanksgiving

Family enjoying a stress free Thanksgiving Hosting a stress free Thanksgiving can be a real challenge. According to an article in, this great American meal doesn’t have to bring on anxiety and nerves. You can breeze through the big day while impressing your guests. All you need to do is follow these 20 tips:

  1. Start planning your menu today.
  2. Keep it simple. Don’t try to tackle ten new recipes in one Thanksgiving. But do make the dishes you like.
  3. Make a list of everything you’ll need. Don’t forget things like a meat thermometer, turkey baster, and disposable turkey pan.
  4. It’s all in the prep. Get ahead of the day by making a few side dishes ahead of time. Did you know that pie crusts will last in the freezer for a whole month?
  5. Start thawing the turkey in your refrigerator this Saturday, the 19th of November.
  6. Get a good night’s sleep the night before. Hosting requires a lot of energy.
  7. Have a jar of backup gravy on hand for seconds or thirds.
  8. Have your staff set your table the night before.
  9. Plan the oven and stovetop timing in advance. Here’s a handy guide to oven rack placement.
  10. Stuff that oven. Throw in all the dishes that cook at the same temperature at the same time.
  11. Either hire a bartender or make drinks in big, punch-bowl-sized batches so you can enjoy your guests instead of making the drinks all night.
  12. Are little ones coming? Have a craft table ready to keep the kids occupied and out of the kitchen. Set up the supplies along with some snacks and they’ll stay out of the kitchen.
  13. Plan some me-time on Thanksgiving Day when you can kick your feet up. You’ll be setting the tone for the event so get in a good mindset before your guests arrive.
  14. Wear something comfortable—think festive and functional. Casual dress with would be perfect. Forget about the tight pants.
  15. Have a few appetizers and both no-alcohol and alcohol-containing drinks ready when guests arrive and encourage mixing and mingling. This will buy you an extra hour of kitchen time.
  16. Stack a tray with dessert plates, forks, spoons and coffee cups and set it aside in another room. That way, you’ll be ready for sweets as soon as the dinner dishes are cleared.
  17. Stock up on takeout-style containers so you have plenty of plastic to send guests home with leftovers.
  18. House rules: The cook does not clean. Hire someone on hand for dish duty.
  19. Ask your guests to share what they are thankful for. It is Thanksgiving for goodness sake!
  20. Treat yourself to a glass of bubbly before the guests arrive. You deserve to cheers all of your hard work!

Check out this report from LendEDU regarding how much the average American will be spending on Thanksgiving between food and travel. See how you compare with others across the country this year.

By following these 20 tips, I promise you will host a stress free Thanksgiving that your guests will never forget. Want to add to my 20 tips? I’d love to see your suggestions! Just email them to me at
May you and yours have a healthy, happy Thanksgiving!

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