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10 Tips for Planning the Best Thanksgiving Dinner Get Together with Less Stress

I know, I know, Halloween was just a few days ago - but before you know it, Thanksgiving will be next weekend and you’ll be left wondering how in the world it snuck up on you so quickly.

As the old adage goes, “If you fail to prepare, you’re preparing to fail”; so instead of gobbling around like a scrambling turkey this Thanksgiving, start planning ahead of time with these top 10 tips to make Thanksgiving dinner easier for you and more enjoyable for your guests.

Use Fabric by the Yard for a Tablecloth

Let’s get real. Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is already expensive, so why go out and purchase a massive tablecloth for one night?

Instead, go to your local craft store and purchase fabric by the yard at a length that covers your table. It’s cheaper and you won’t grind your teeth when somebody spills cranberry sauce all over it.

Always Accept Help

You already have enough on your plate as it is and there’s no reason to be the lone star savior of Thanksgiving dinner.

If somebody offers you help, accept it! They’ll feel much more comfortable eating in your home and it also opens up an opportunity for you to connect with the friends or family who offer to help.

Agree to Food Offerings

While the previous point refers to helping hands around the kitchen or setting up, this tip refers to guests offering to bring their own food.

Take it! Again, there’s no need to be the sole superhero of Thanksgiving and the guests that bring food will feel more comfortable dining in your home.

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Cook Ahead As Much As You Can

The final hours leading up to Thanksgiving dinner are always the most stressful no matter what you do.

However, you can take a good amount of the stress off by preparing certain dishes ahead of time, things that can sit in the fridge for a day or two and re-heat nicely.

To be honest, I wouldn’t judge you if you planned a good amount of your dishes with this in mind…

Mix & Match Dishes and Linens

Instead of spending a month’s worth of income on making sure that everyone has perfectly matching dinnerware for Thanksgiving, mix and match dishes and linens you already have that have an autumn aesthetic.

Go for warm shades of red, maroon, orange, yellow, and green moss dinnerware that you already have lying around for a festive style that doesn’t cost a dime extra.

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Add Elements of Nature

Seeing as Thanksgiving celebrates the autumn harvest, it makes sense to decorate your home dinner table with natural décor.

Miniature pumpkins, wooden bowls, pine branch wreaths, leaf shaped side plates - the possibilities are endless and bring a warming feeling to the atmosphere.

Style a Memorable Centerpiece

Instead of going for a run-of-the-mill centerpiece from your local superstore, think of something original and creative. 

If you already have some sort of Thanksgiving decoration lying around, have the kids add some life and creativity to it. Better yet, send the kids out to pick some flowers in the yard.

Whatever you choose, make it memorable, unique, and from the heart.

Stick With What You Know How to Cook

Trying to cook something new and complicated is a very common pitfall I’ve seen many times over the years that can drive even the most level-headed person into a frenzy - don’t do it.

It’s Thanksgiving. People are expecting turkey, corn, stuffing, and bread - so be easy on yourself and give the people what they want

Set the Table the Night Before

This is another tip that will take a lot of stress off of you in the hours approaching the arrival of guests.

Instead of waiting until the day of to set the table, get everything setup and ready to go the night before. The guests will be none the wiser, but you will have one less thing to do the day of.

Take Care of Yourself First

Lastly, and most importantly, make sure the first thing you do when you wake up the morning of the big day is to take care of yourself.

Shower, brush your teeth, do your makeup, lay out your fancy clothes on the bed, and slip into your cooking clothes before anything else.

This will allow you much more time to do other things in the stressful hours beforehand and you will also feel much more refreshed throughout the day.

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