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How to Host a Stress-Free, Fun-Filled Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones and reflect on all the things that we have to be grateful for. It’s a joyous time, but for those who are hosting the biggest feast of the year, it can also be a stressful occasion—but it doesn’t have to be! If you’ll be hosting Thanksgiving this year, read on for four tips that will help you stay cool, calm, and collected this November 25.

  • Plan ahead. French chefs have a specific term for getting the kitchen ready for a cooking marathon: “mise en place,” which means “everything in its place.” Adhere to this adage to ensure your holiday gets off on the right foot. Do as much preparation ahead of time as possible, such as cleaning, grocery shopping, measuring, and cooking. That way, you’ll be able to actually enjoy yourself on Turkey Day! 
  • Host a potluck-style feast. Preparing a huge feast is quite a task, and it’s even more complicated when people have certain dishes that they associate with the holiday. So why not invite your guests to contribute a dish to the meal? Share an online sign-up form with your guests so they can sign up to bring a side dish, dessert, green, drinks, and so on.
  • Make seating arrangements. If your existing dining room table isn’t large enough to accommodate all of your guests, buy or borrow a folding table so that everyone will have a place to sit. You may want to invest in some folding chairs as well.
  • Go light on decor. Don’t stress too much about decor; you’ll be busy enough as it is! Instead, decorate your space with a few battery-operated candles, several groupings of mini pumpkins, and maybe a vase or two of fall-themed flowers. 

How to Host Thanksgiving for the First Time [Southern Living]
Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving [Reader’s Digest]
How To Host An Incredible Thanksgiving Without Losing Your Mind [Real Simple]

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