Everyone wants to be the hostess with the most-est, but not everyone knows how. Luckily, we’re here to help. This year, rather than being a ball of stress, follow these simple rules to have the best Thanksgiving ever!

1) Make as Much Food as Possible Ahead of Time

This may seem like a no brainer to some people, but you’d be amazed at how often I hear stories from friends of making 15 dishes the day of a big holiday meal! There are so many dishes and food-prep you can do the day before! For example, homemade cranberry sauce is chilled anyways, so take care of it the night before and stick it in the fridge until the big meal. Or if you’re making rolls you can make the dough days in advance and then pop them in a casserole dish in the freezer until they’re ready to be baked (trust me – this works!)


2) Set the Table the Night Before

This is an easy one that a lot of people don’t think of, but it’s a great way to save time on Thanksgiving day. And if you have kiddos, this is a great way for them to help out with the big day! Make sure to grab fall-themed napkins, placemats, plates, and a centerpiece (Old Time Pottery has a huge selection of autumn-inspired place setting accessories to really make your table stand out!).


3) Let Others Bring Food

This goes along with the above and is perhaps one of the most important steps to keep your sanity! You’re going to have a ton to keep track of, and if someone offers to bring a dish – let them! You don’t need to be in charge of a full 10-course meal all on your own. You’re already graciously opening your home to them, the least your guests can do is bring something to add to the menu.


4) Have Drinks Ready to Go

Have a plan when guests come through the door. If you have extra counter space, dedicate a section to drinks. Include a punch bowl (or beverage dispenser), glasses, ice, and napkins. Otherwise, make sure your kitchen is organized and assign your husband/wife/children to drink duty so there will be less questions flying your way while you’re concentrating on basting the turkey, making sure the mashed potatoes are fluffy, and checking so the rolls don’t burn.


5) Don’t Experiment with New Recipes

We know, we know – you want to host a Thanksgiving with dishes the family will be talking about for years, but now is not the time to attempt a dish you’ve never made successfully. Your stress levels will remain much lower if you are confident and experienced in the dishes you’re making.


6) You Don’t Have to Make Everything From Scratch

Listen, we know you’re a great cook and want to do everything yourself, but if you don’t have time to make everything there is absolutely no shame in buying the pumpkin pie (or rolls, or cranberry sauce, etc. etc.)!


7) Decorate on a Budget

You’re already spending money and time preparing for the big day, make decorating simple! Whether you want to DIY or buy decorations, Old Time Pottery has a great selection of items to make floral arrangements, harvest decor, and more.


8) Never Turn Down Help

And lastly, this goes along with a lot of the above – but you don’t have to do everything yourself! If someone offers to help, let them! If someone wants to be in charge of making sure the rolls don’t burn, trust that it will get done. Even if you want to take charge and cook everything yourself, let your guests help clean up the dishes afterwards.

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Written by Sarah Moore

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