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10 Helpful Thanksgiving Tips for a Stress Free Holiday

By Edited Jul 13, 2016 7 13

Get Organized This Thanksgiving Holiday so You Can Enjoy It, Too!

How to Have a Stress Free Thanksgiving
These 10 helpful Thanksgiving tips will help you have a less stressful holiday. If it is your turn to host the family feast, using these suggestions will help you enjoy the holiday meal along with your guests.

Helpful Thanksgiving Tip #1

Get Organized

Make a List
One reason people get stressed over the holidays is because there is a lot to do and it can be very overwhelming. If you break down the larger jobs into smaller tasks, you will be able to accomplish more than you think.

You will need to plan your menu a few weeks in advance. Once you know what you are serving, then you will need to make your shopping list. If you are a sale shopper, take advantage of all the great deals that take place in the supermarket during this time of year. Oftentimes, you will get a free turkey just for doing your regular food shopping prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Tip #2

Delegate the Cooking

String Bean Casserole
Just because you are hosting a holiday it doesn’t mean that you have to do all of the meal preparation. One of the most helpful Thanksgiving tips is to let your guests bring some of the food. Most people want to help and bring something for dinner. They are thankful that the holiday is not in their house!

Depending on how many people are invited, assign guests to bring appetizers and desserts. This way, you will only have to deal with the main course and side dishes.

 Tip #3

Take Care of the Turkey

Turkey in the Oven
If you wait until Thanksgiving morning to prepare the turkey, it is probably too late. Depending on the size of the bird, you will need at least two days to defrost the turkey in the refrigerator.

Make sure you have a large enough roasting pan. One of my favorite ways to prepare turkey is to use a Reynolds Oven Bags. They come in different sizes, including one large enough for a 20 pound bird. Reynolds Oven Bags also shorten the amount of time your turkey needs to cook in the oven.

Helpful Thanksgiving Tip #4

Use Paper Plates and Plastic Utensils

Thanksgiving Paper Plates
For many people, this helpful Thanksgiving tip may seem to be wasteful and not “green“. For many, holidays mean using your good china and silverware. However, many women work outside the home. They want to host the holiday but not be chained to the kitchen cleaning up endless piles of dishes. Depending upon your family, how much help you actually get in the kitchen can vary.

By using paper plates and plastic, which are easy Thanksgiving table decorations, you are saving a lot of cleanup time, as well as not dealing with feelings of resentment. This helpful Thanksgiving tip can actually save relationships.

If using paper does not go over well with your family, then at least use paper and plastic for dessert.

Thanksgiving Tip #5

Use Aluminum Pans for Serving

Aluminum and foil pans
This helpful Thanksgiving tip goes along the same lines as the fourth tip. There is nothing worse than a sink full of dishes that need to be soaked overnight. That means even your helpful guests will be unable to assist you in the kitchen with clean up. By using foil pans that are bought cheaply in the Dollar store, doing the dishes is as simple as tossing the pans.

If you have some sentimental serving pieces that you want to use, make sure you cook something in it that can clean up easily. Or cook in the foil pans and put the food in your special dishes. For every holiday, I always use the serving platters from each of my grandmother’s china, as well as the turkey platter my father gave to me.

Be sure to wash these special pieces before Thanksgiving Day. My Nana used to write what each serving piece was for a little slips of paper and place it on top of it. Today we can use Post-it notes.

Thanksgiving Tip #6

Make Sure You Have Enough Seating

Set table
No matter how big or small your home is, every guest needs a place to sit at the table to eat the Thanksgiving feast. If you do not have enough chairs and table space for everyone, you’ll need to borrow from family, a friend or a neighbor. Family members who live nearby can bring tables and chairs before Thanksgiving, or you can pick it up. You do not want to wait until Thanksgiving morning to set the tables (see tip #9).

Thanksgiving Tip #7

Do Your Prep Work the Night Before

Cut up and sliced vegetables
In order to have a stress-free Thanksgiving meal, you should do all of your prep work the night before. Any chopping, dicing, or slicing can easily be done ahead of time. Many side dishes can be made in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until you need to cook it.

If you’re having a large amount of people then you may want to take the day off from work, or at least half the day. Your children can also help you with food preparation.

Thanksgiving Tip #8

Clean Only the Rooms You Will Be Using

There is no reason to go into a cleaning frenzy just because people will be visiting. If you are having 20 people over for Thanksgiving, imagine the mess you will have to clean when they all leave.

Clean only important areas of your home that will be used. Bathrooms should be scrubbed clean and dusted, and fresh towels should be put out. End tables and coffee tables should be dusted and floors should be swept and vacuumed. Any clutter should stored out of sight. The kitchen should be cleaned up from your prep work and clean dishtowels and sponges should be ready for guests to use at the end of the meal.

Tip #9

Set the Table in Advance

On Thanksgiving morning, there is nothing more relaxing then having the house ready for company. By setting the table on Wednesday night, all you have to do is put your turkey and other food in the oven and wait for it to cook.

Helpful Thanksgiving Tip #10

Enjoy Yourself

Thanksgiving is a time to think about everything in your life for which you are grateful. The people who you invited, your family and your friends, are what makes this holiday special. Make sure you keep everything simple.

Using these helpful Thanksgiving tips will make this day more meaningful and relaxing for you.

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Oct 7, 2011 7:10pm
Excellent ideas, and great commonsense! Voted up and +1
Oct 7, 2011 11:28pm
These are great tips to help even the host/hostess enjoy the holiday. If you're hosting and not keen on eating leftovers for the next few days--or longer--when inviting guests, suggest they bring containers with them if they'd like to share in the left over bounty.
Oct 8, 2011 2:45am
Thank you for sharing these tips. Wow!! Last year your pilgrim article was featured and now you have another Thanksgiving article featured. Congrats.
Oct 10, 2011 5:53am
Thank you all for your kind comments. Thaksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday! WHenI was a teacher, I loved to teach about this most American holiday.

LL-I love that tip! I actually go out and buy new Ziplock containers to give out the leftovers. Now I shall write-BYOC!
Oct 12, 2011 12:31am
I concur with tips 8 & 10! I love Thanksgiving too, and hope to enjoy many more.
Oct 12, 2011 12:21pm
very informative!!!! keep writing!
Oct 13, 2011 2:59pm
very nice article thanks for sharing
Oct 13, 2011 2:59pm
very nice article .thanks for sharing.
Oct 13, 2011 3:57pm
Very helpful. I can't agree more: being organized is a key to success
Oct 14, 2011 10:12am
These are great tips. Organization is key.
Oct 14, 2011 5:12pm
Perfect article to be Featured! Using these helpful Thanksgiving tips will help to make the day successful, and allow the hosts to enjoy the day, too. Congratulations on the Feature.
Nov 2, 2014 8:12pm
Love your article, Mommy. Great appropriate pictures!
Nov 4, 2014 6:35pm
Thanks, kellapat! This is exactly how I plan my Thanksgiving feast every year!
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