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7 Tips for Hosting A Stress-Free Thanksgiving Feast

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Hosting a large dinner is never easy, and hosting a Thanksgiving Feast can be an invitation for stress, whether we like to admit it or not! Here are 7 tips to keep you totally zen while you prepare for Thanksgiving dinner this year.

1. Let go of the idea of the “Perfect Thanksgiving”


Any Thanksgiving feast is bound to have a hiccup or two—no matter the size of the guest list. Upfront, if you can accept that your Thanksgiving dinner is going to be just that—your Thanksgiving dinner (not a scene from a Hallmark movie), you’ll face less anxiety leading up to, and during the event, should any issues arise.

2. Plan ahead as much as possible


Of course, a detailed plan made ahead of time always helps. Plan out each course, make record of cook times and prepare any dishes you can ahead of time! Casseroles, appetizers and side dishes are most manageable in this regard.

3. Keep appetizers simple


Hosting any event comes with pressure, so take it easy on yourself and keep the appetizers simple. Also, cold appetizers are always a go-to, as they won’t get cold while you’re cooking, so you don’t have to keep up with them throughout the day!

4. Set up a drinks station outside of the kitchen


With a drink station set up conveniently and noticeably for your guests to access, your kitchen will automatically be less crowded with guests asking for drinks.

5. Set the table early


Setting the table a day or two early takes a load off your back the day of—and it really isn’t necessary to wait! We suggest using post-its to keep things even more streamlined. Write the name of each item you plan to make on a post-it. Then place the post-it next to the plate you intend to use for each dish. Doing this keeps you organized and makes catching anything missing easier!

6. Let others pitch in!


Take your guests up on their offers should someone ask if you need any help! If you’re pressed for time (or even if you aren’t!), there’s no shame in accepting a helping hand. Alternatively, consider the potluck approach! Fully embrace the idea of a potluck by assigning guests certain dishes ahead of time, or, handle the harder tasks yourself and dish out the appetizers and desserts for your guests to handle. And really, who doesn’t love a potluck?

7. Clean as you go!


This might be one of the biggest in our book. After slaving over a hot stove for a house full of hungry guests, who wants to return to a kitchen that looks like The Tasmanian Devil just left?? Do yourself a favor and fill the sink with hot soapy water so you can drop in dishes as you go, and handle your outstanding dishes before you even begin the ultimate feast prep.

Riverside Medical Clinic