8 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinner

By | September 28, 2016


Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be a challenge, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Guests expect a feast, and they also expect that certain dishes, not the least of which is the turkey. You also will probably be serving a larger group than you normally host. For all these reasons, you may be experiencing stress. However, there are ways to make the occasion easier to get through. Here are eight recommendations for hosting a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner.

1. Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to enlist good friends and family members to help out with the meal preparations. You should be the one who cooks the turkey, but side dishes, desserts, and other items can be assigned to your helpers. Just make sure that any time-sensitive things are claimed by individuals who are punctual (for example, the appetizers need to be delivered early).

2. Prepare food items ahead of time. Make the big day much less stressful by doing as much as possible ahead of time. Items that you can work on beforehand include cranberry sauce, casseroles, breadcrumbs for stuffing, potatoes (but not mashed), and gravy. Also, you can chop up vegetables in preparation for cooking or mixing into a salad.

3. Do other preparations ahead of time. Tasks not involving food preparation can also be done prior to the big day. You can set the table the night before (and determining a seating plan is a good idea). Also, any cocktail can be mixed beforehand and left to chill in the fridge.

4. Stick with the classics. Thanksgiving is not a good time to try out new recipes or cooking styles. Your guests have pretty clear expectations and won’t be happy if something unfamiliar is served. A little leeway is allowed with salads and casseroles. However, when it comes to the turkey and its sidekicks, experimentation is not a good idea!

5. Don’t agonize about appetizers. The essential Thanksgiving items are all served at the table during the dinner. So don’t worry too much about appetizers. You can either ask one of the guests to bring something or simply put out some fancy crackers and dip.

6. It’s OK to buy some items. Don’t get caught up in the “prepare from scratch” compulsion. It’s perfectly fine to pick up certain things at the supermarket, such as desserts (pies are a chore), rolls, and gravy.

7. Create a schedule and work backwards. Because there are so many moving parts, it’s certainly a good idea to write out a timeline showing the time that every task related to the preparations must be started. Then refer to the schedule for guidance throughout the day.

8. You do not have to do the cleaning all by yourself. It’s OK to hire a proffecional to help you with the cleaning before and after the party. Check the cleaning services section on PostedAd.ca to find a cleaning company, it will help you to keep your home clean and will reduce a lot of unnessecary stress.

Hosting Thanksgiving can feel overwhelming, particularly if you haven’t done it before. Nevertheless, there are ways to make it much easier. The objective is to ensure that you are able to enjoy the feast with, and give thanks for, your friends and family!