3 Tips for an Easy Thanksgiving

Brown envelope with white label and string

Created by: Krissy Allori, Self Proclaimed Foodie

The only thing better than celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and family is enjoying an easy and stress free Thanksgiving with friends and family!

I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember. I have memories of cooking in our kitchen at the age of 10, slaving over a hot stove and making a huge mess while wearing a bathrobe. Ah, those were the days. Not much has changed except for the fact that I now have a glass of wine in my hand! I kid! I kid. Well, sort of.

After years and years of hosting Thanksgiving dinner, I’d like to think I have a few tricks up my sleeve. There are few things that give me more joy than cramming a ton of people in my house to enjoy good food and each other’s company. What I don’t love is chaos and confusion. I am happy to say that now, because of the tips I’m about to share with you, my Thanksgiving dinners are much more enjoyable than they used to be when I first started!

1. Prepare as much food the day before as you can.

I don’t remember when I started doing this, but it’s absolutely amazing waking up on Thanksgiving morning and only having to worry about the turkey. The day before, I prepare the mashed potatoes, the stuffing, the green bean casserole, the sweet potato casserole and the fresh cranberry sauce. By preparing, I mean that I cut, slice, assemble, mix, etc. but I don’t do the final baking. Then, on Thanksgiving Day, I take them out of the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature and all I have to do at that point is cook them. The mashed potatoes go in the slow cooker, the casseroles go in the oven, and the cranberry sauce goes on the stove. I don’t want to reheat them on Thanksgiving, I want to cook them. That way, when your guests arrive, you can enjoy that glass of wine with some appetizers without a huge mess from all the prep work, plus you have tons more energy than if you had woken up at 3am to do all that work.

2. Use place cards.

They’re easy and inexpensive to make. When everyone knows where they’re sitting, there is a whole lot less chaos and confusion come dinnertime. Also, that way you can keep Aunt Harriet away from Grandma Joan because you know they’d bicker throughout the entire meal if they had to sit next to each other!

3. Put together personalized disposable to-go boxes for your guests. 

Not only will they think it’s a lovely gesture, but you don’t have to worry about buying a whole new set of Tupperware after it goes home with your guests only for you to never see it again! Smart idea, right?