Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year? It’s a wonderful holiday to spend with family and friends, but it can be stressful planning a big feast for everyone. Over the years, I’ve learned a few tips that can lead to a stress-free holiday.  

#1 Plan Your Menu Early

Plan your menu in advance. Keep it simple, stick with the classics and recipes you are comfortable making. Select appetizers, sides, and desserts that can be made a few days in advance. This will leave you with less to do on Thanksgiving Day.

#2 Have a Plan and Stay Organized 

Write everything down and create a detailed to-do list to help you stay organized. Refer to your list often and check things off as you go! Feeling organized will create less stress.  

#3 Do As Much In Advance As Possible 

Take inventory of what you have in your kitchen then make a list of the items needed. Prepare for two trips to the grocery store. Plan the first trip early to purchase as much in advance as possible, such as your non-perishables. Reserve the second trip for last minutes items such as fresh fruit and bread, or any items you may have forgotten.

Prepare your appetizers, sides, and desserts a couple days before Thanksgiving.

Other things you can do in advance are: decorate your home for the Fall season, iron the tablecloth & napkins, pull out all your serving platters/serving utensils and set the table. A beautiful table is an easy way to impress your guests.

#4 Let Your Guests Help

Thanksgiving is a family affair and a little help can go a long way to make your life easier. If your guests offer to bring something, suggest an appetizer or a dessert… but be specific, such as asking your aunt to bring her famous apple pie.

#5 Relax and Enjoy Your Feast

Do just that! After all that planning and prepping, remember why we are celebrating. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all the wonderful people you have in your life. Enjoy your dinner with your family and friends, be thankful, share your gratitude and create special memories together. 

( Photo Credit: Comstock Images / Stockbyte / Thinkstock 78462435 )