baked turkey on a platter

Thanksgiving is a time to remember everything you are thankful for. For celebrating food, family and friends. It’s also a time for stress! Between cooking, cleaning, house guests and normal chores, you’re a wreck by the end of the holiday. No one should have to deal with that much stress right before Christmas! Here are some tips to make your holiday happier and keep the family happy as well!

Be Thankful:  No matter what happens, be sure to take some time to remember what this day is all about!  Make sure you take some time out to reflect on the things in your life that you are Thankful for.  Just a moment of reflection can steer your day in the right direction and make those little stresses just seem so much smaller.

Start with recipes: On Saturday before Thanksgiving, pick out the recipes you’ll need for your perfect dinner. Find out how many people are coming, and adjust the recipes to make sure everyone gets some (and that there are plenty of leftovers).

Don’t try new things: Thanksgiving is not the time to be trying new recipes. Worrying whether or not your family is going to love this new recipe will only add to your stress. Make any new recipes weeks before, so everyone can try them, and you can see if it is worth the work!

Shop ahead: After modifying your recipes on Saturday, make a shopping list. Go shopping for everything on the Sunday before or the Monday before. If the grocery stores are busy, try going at an odd time, like 11PM or when they first open. If you are buying a frozen turkey, you can buy it a couple weeks or a month in advance, just to make sure you get one!

Plan ahead: Use our free

Potluck: Ask all your local guests to bring a dish; it will cut down on your kitchen time and make sure there’s enough food for everyone!

Thaw the turkey in the fridge: Start thawing the turkey as early as you can in fridge, so make sure the bird is completely thawed by the big day!

Set the table: Having the table set the night before the big day will make you stress less the day of. All you’ll have to do is cook!

Make dessert & casseroles the day before: Most fall desserts can be made ahead of time including pies or casseroles. This will cut down on your prep time for dinner on Thursday!

Get plenty of sleep: Getting a full night’s rest the day before will help you marathon the food on Thanksgiving! Also, working out the day before and eating right will alleviate stress.

Clean as you go: Putting away dishes as you cook, wiping the counter down in your down time, and hand washing pans while you’re waiting for something to finish cooking is a great way to use your time.

Ask for help: You’ll have guests and your family home with you, don’t be afraid to ask for some helping hands in the kitchen!

Schedule it out:  Write everything down…  you’ll feel more organized just having everything laid out.  I’ve created a FREE Printable Thanksgiving Dinner Planner to help you.

click here to print your planner text



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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. Casseroles made ahead of time. Would that mean I could make and bake your easy stuffing recipe the day before and just reheat it? I don’t know if you will get back to this question soon enough but I thought I would try.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!

    1. You can prepare the stuffing ahead of time and bake it on the day of (no need to bake it the first day!). Happy Thanksgiving Mka, and thank you for following along!