9 Tips & Tricks to a Stress-Free Thanksgiving


The Holidays are times for enjoying the company of your friends and family. Here are a few tips and tricks that will hopefully make your Thanksgiving a little bit less stressful this year so that you can do that.

1. Make a Menu and Shopping List

About two weeks or so before the Thanksgiving Day, you should start coming up with a menu. Since Thanksgiving is a fairly traditional meal, everyone expects certain things: The turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and who can forget pumpkin pie? Still it is always nice to add a little something new to the rotation, maybe a side dish. This holiday is a great time to try new dishes, while still keeping the tried and true.

Once you have your menu complete, make a detailed grocery list. Have your menu and all of your recipes in front of you while doing so. If you try and do it from memory, it is almost guaranteed that you will forget something, no matter how well you know the recipes!

When calculating how much turkey you will need, a good rule of thumb is 1.5 pounds per person. Unless of course you are planning on having leftovers, in that case, double it!

2. Plan Your Table Scape

Make sure that you have an accurate head count when planning out where everyone is going to sit. Generally not everyone is going to be able to cram together at your dining room table. Plan on having an extra card table or two to add to the end(s) of your table or somewhere near.

Come up with your color scheme, table settings, a centerpiece idea, and place cards if needed. Try and use what you already have, but also allow yourself to purchase a few new items each year. Once you are getting everything set up, your plans will most likely change, but it is always nice to have a general idea of how you are going to do it.

3. Purchase Groceries and Other Supplies Early

Don't be afraid to spread out your grocery shopping over the two weeks before. By doing so, you will eliminate so much stress, and you won't one huge grocery bill all at once. Buy your canned foods and other non-perishable items the first week, and pick up all of your perishables the next.

Your turkey can be purchased in any of the trips. Just make sure that you allow yourself enough time to get it thawed out. You don't want to be stuck with a frozen turkey the morning of. If you are thawing in your fridge, allow about one day per 4 pounds.

Other supplies that you may want/need for Thanksgiving Dinner: Dishes, Glassware, Silverware, Napkins, Napkin Rings, Centerpieces, Table Clothes, Place mats, Candles, Candle Holders, etc. The nice thing about most of these, is that you can pick them up at your local Dollar Store or Thrift Shop.

4. Delegate

Like I said before, the holidays are the time for enjoying everyone around you. You don't want to be preparing food all day and miss out on that. Don't be afraid to ask people for help! You can ask each family to bring one or two side dishes that are important to them. You can also delegate the easy stuff too such as the canned cranberry sauce, the whipped cream, a veggie tray, things like that.

Your guest will most likely want to contribute in some way, and in order to make your Thanksgiving stress-free, you should let them.

5. Prepare Food Ahead of Time

Whatever you can prepare before Thanksgiving Day, you should do so. The actual day itself, should be used for preparing the essentials: the turkey, dressing, potatoes, stuffing.

Carefully look at your menu and decide what you can reasonable prepare ahead of time. You'd be surprised at how much you can have ready a couple days before.

6. Set the Table the Night Before

This is something that you should absolutely have done the night before. It can take you awhile to get it to your exact liking, and isn't something that you should have to worry about the day of.

If need be, have all of your silverware polished and washed, table clothes ironed, and make sure all of your linens and dishes are clean at least two days before. This way you can work on setting the table up in between preparing for the meal the day before.

7. Have Something for the Kids to Do

By doing so, you will be giving them some sort of distraction so that they aren't hindering the kitchen work for you. You could have them all write down what they are thankful for, and have them share with everyone at the dinner table before you eat.

There are so many different Thanksgiving activities/crafts out there for kids, check out for some ideas!

8. Get Dressed Early

You really don't want your guest arriving early only to find you are just getting out of the shower, so don't wait to get ready! Get a few things done in the kitchen that morning, and your last minute cleaning before you shower, but don't wait until last minute. Allow yourself sometime early in the day to get yourself ready, and then put on your apron and finish up. Same goes for the kids.

9. Be Thankful!

Don't let yourself get caught up in having your house looking perfect, or all of the preparations for the meal, that you let yourself forget that this day is all about. Thanksgiving is a time to be with the ones you love and show your gratitude for the blessings we have.

And in order for Thanksgiving to truly be stress-free, you have to be grateful! Even if your dinner doesn't turn out, or things aren't exactly the way you wanted them, once dinner is served and everyone is together at the table, sit back and really enjoy the food, and each other's company!

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Keller Williams Realty  DTC, 6300 S. Syracuse Way Suite 150, Centennial, CO 80111

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