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A turkey dinner set on a table

Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinner

How to Avoid a Stressful Thanksgiving Dinner

Whether you’re having a small gathering of people for Thanksgiving dinner or the entire extended family, you’ll need to plan ahead to ensure that the day stays as stress free as possible. If you’ve ever asked yourself how to avoid a stressful Thanksgiving dinner, you’re in the right place.

Plan the Menu

You know you’ll need turkey and stuffing, but what else will you prepare. Figure out if you need a few desserts or if one will suffice. To know how much you’ll need to prepare, find out how many people are expected to attend. While the holiday head count can fluctuate, you should have a general idea of who is coming. Always try to be prepared for more people though. It’s better to have too much food than not enough.

Make the Shopping List

Shopping is one of the hardest parts of the holiday meal. You’ll definitely have to make more than one trip to the supermarket. Consider splitting the list into perishable and non-perishable items. Shop for cans and frozen items a week or two before the big day. Buy the turkey and fresh ingredients a day or two before the meal. It’ll save on stress since everyone always forgets at least one item when they shop.

Cook in Advance

A few days before Thanksgiving, think about what you can cook in advance and store in the refrigerator. You can cut vegetables, cook soups, make vegetable dip and bake cookies. Make sure to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator a few days before since a turkey can take days to defrost. When cooking in advance, make sure you’re storing everything in air tight containers.

Consider a Potluck Meal

While you do want to create a beautiful turkey dinner for your guests, there’s nothing wrong with having guests bring their favorite dishes. It helps to make sure there’s enough food for everyone, and keeps you from becoming overwhelmed. This is especially helpful if people have dietary restrictions. They can bring something to share that fits with their diet.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a stressful time. If you plan ahead and take things one step at a time, you’ll be able to enjoy your guests and have a relaxing and enjoyable evening with family.