7 Thanksgiving Dinner Survival Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Celebration


Need some tips on to survive hosting a Thanksgiving dinner celebration without feeling overwhelmed and still feel like you pulled off a really impressive meal? Read on.

I’m going to let you in on a secret–I am not Martha Stewart. Honestly, Martha Stewart isn’t even Martha Stewart. She’s a brand and a whole team of possibly thousands of people, all working together to make everything Martha does look effortless and impressive, including Martha’s coverage of Thanksgiving dinner. That’s not how most of our dinners go. So, if you find yourself hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, don’t freak out and think you have to be all “Martha”,  but instead feel confident with these tips for hosting a stress-free Thanksgiving meal, and embracing the imperfections bound to happen.

7 Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinner

  1. Plan your menu way ahead of time. Don’t leave the decisions to the day or two before. That. Is. Not. Enough. Time. Do some research and choose recipes that you can cook or prep the day before. Also, make sure to ask your guests about food sensitivities and allergies and plan accordingly.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or delegate. That includes asking guests to each bring a side dish. Do make sure to coordinate with your guests though, you don’t want to end up with 3 sweet potato dishes.
  3. Don’t plan a sit down formal affair. Just don’t. Thanksgiving is a family affair and a more casual dining style is definitely appropriate and will make your life so much easier. Your guests with children will also thank you.
  4. Depending on whether it’s appropriate for your family or not, it might be fun to serve a signature cocktail. Here are some ideas for retro cocktails.
  5. Everything does not have to be made from scratch. Delicious local bakery desserts can be just as much of a hit (or more) as homemade versions.
  6. This certainly seems like a no-brainer, but it is worth mentioning, do as much as you can ahead of time. You want to be able to spend time with your family, so set the table the day before, make the pies tonight and get the coffee pot ready right after your own morning cup.
  7. After the meal is over, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help with the  cleanup. It’s a great way to spend time together and many hands make light work.

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Image via vxla


Jen Wallace

Jen Wallace shares her indie life by writing about making, creating, cooking, learning, playing, decorating, and pretty much anything else that strikes her fancy from indie biz tips to the modern history of the American hemline.