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I get it. You are counting down the days to Thanksgiving and the thought of hosting for the first time has you sweating. It’s not the hard work that has you scared, it’s the expectations you are looking to fulfill.

Uncle Bob loves turkey, and if you burn it he will make his unhappiness known.

Your sister Jane is a perfectionist, and if she sees that the table was set up incorrectly, she’ll have a fit.

To top it off, there is bad blood between your brother and Dad and you are worried that they both might reach the tipping point during Thanksgiving…

But hey, there are always stressful events and expectations during holidays. It’s just the nature of family. Thanksgiving will truly be what you make of it, so let’s make it a good one.

I put together a set of tips that should make your Thanksgiving Day a tad bit smoother. Here we go!

Make it a potluck:

The most stressful part of Thanksgiving is managing the cooking and storing of dozens of different recipes. With so much going on at the same time, it’s hard not to be stressed! To alleviate this stress entirely, why not make Thanksgiving dinner a potluck? You can orchestrate what you want at the dinner and then assign each family member a dish to bring. This is a cost effective and stress free way to cook a delicious dinner.

Stick to the classics: 

No matter what age we live in, classics never die and that is absolutely the case for Thanksgiving. People have expectations for what a Thanksgiving dinner should include, so make sure to include the following items:

  1. Turkey
  2. Stuffing
  3. Mashed Potatoes

Stick to these core components, and most (if not everybody) should be happy.

Distract: 

Some of the most stressful “noise” during Thanksgiving can be people showing their displeasure for dinner not being ready. To avoid this, I recommend distracting them with things do, eat and drink while you are putting the final touches on dinner. Here are some ideas:

  • Eat: put a cheese or vegetable tray out in the living room for people to snack on.
  • Drink: place some bottles of wine and cocktail ingredients in the living room so people can enjoy a drink while they wait.
  • Entertain: turn on the football game and have some board games sitting out to entertain them.

While there will always be stress, implementing these ideas should make Thanksgiving quite a bit more enjoyable for you and the rest of your family. Good luck, and Happy Thanksgiving!