With Thanksgiving just a day away, excitement fills the air. If you are stressed because it is your first time hosting, not to worry! Here are 10 essentials to know when hosting Thanksgiving for the first time.

 

 

1.Never turn down help.

Thanksgiving is often a potluck affair, and that’s the beauty of it. Let friends and family bring things, and be shameless about delegating the parts of the meal that stress you out.

 

 

2. Make as much ahead as possible.

The most stressful part of a meal is the last-minute rush. When you’re planning your menu, look for dishes that can be made ahead. Even if you can’t make a full dish ahead, look for ways to peel off pieces, like toasting nuts or breadcrumbs.

 

 

3. Don’t experiment with new recipes.

Thanksgiving is all about the classics, so stick with the tried-and-true. Our readers said this over and over. Leave your brain free to deal with the turkey (especially if it’s your first time).

 

 

4. Start early on your non-food prep.

It’s not just the food that needs to be prepped. You probably are pulling out serving dishes that need to be washed, or extra silverware, or counting your napkins to make sure you have enough. Do all of that the week before. Double-check your serving plates and utensils and iron your tablecloth, if needed!

 

 

5. Consider making the turkey the day before.

Sure, you can make rolls and cranberry sauce days ahead. Casseroles can sit in the fridge before baking. But do the turkey ahead? Wow! Use the time you would have spent fretting over the bird and spend it with your guests instead.

 

 

6. Set the table the night before.

Don’t fuss with the table on the day of. Set it the day ahead and you have your goal in sight all day. (Tip for cat-owners: Throw a sheet over the table so curious kitties stay away.)

 

 

7. Don’t make a big deal over appetizers.

Thanksgiving is a huge meal! Don’t stress about appetizers. Ask someone else to bring one, or just put out some store-bought crackers and dip.

 

 

8. It’s fine to buy parts of your meal.

From-scratch everything is usually too much work. Know a great bakery? Buy a pie. Hate making gravy? Buy some from a specialty grocery. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying a few pieces of the meal, especially if it makes for a more relaxing day.

 

 

9. Make a timeline and master list of everything that needs to happen.

Avoid last-minute overload by counting backwards from the time dinner is served and scheduling out prep time and oven time. This list can stick on the fridge or wherever you’ll see it. Use your phone to set alarms for really key moments, such as putting the turkey in the oven.

 

 

10. Relax, have fun, and live in the spirit of the holiday!

And the most important piece of advice? Relax! Remember people are there to gather with you and one another, not to be entertained. Ask for help, laugh a lot, remember the turkey can rest for an hour while you finish everything else, and above all, find moments of gratitude in a busy, messy, loud, and delicious holiday.

 

 


Source: Article by Faith Durand

Contributed by Emma Guerena, Marketing Intern Steadfast Management