Texas Living

How to Have a Stress-Free Thanksgiving

By Brian Kendall 11.7.16

Between the turkey, decorations, hors d’oeuvres, and all of your guests distracted by the big game, Thanksgiving is no vacation for the host. Fortunately, there are ways to cut back on the stress you might feel on this day of thanks. Follow these tips to ensure a flawless and hassle-free Thanksgiving.

Cut Down on the Food

Put down the cranberry sauce and no one gets hurt! It may sound like a faux pas, but a simple food portion planner, like this one, can help you keep a handle on how much food is necessary for your hungry tribe.

Pre-Make as Much as You Can

It’s exhausting preparing everything the day of. But, believe it or not, you can prepare the majority of your meal in advance. Many Thanksgiving planners recommend you make sides like yams, casserole, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and pies the day before Thanksgiving. And food prep isn’t the only thing you can knock out early. Be sure to wake up early on Thanksgiving day to set your dining room table for an added time saver.

Don’t Stuff the Bird

Stuffing is a Thanksgiving staple, but, despite its name, this doesn’t require you to literally stuff the bird to cook it. In fact, there are many reasons not to stuff your turkey, not least of which is the fact that it can shorten your cooking time by over an hour. In addition, if you choose to cook it outside of the turkey, you can do this the day before.

Delegate Your Tasks

Folks love to help out on Thanksgiving; it makes them feel like they’re putting their own stamps on the delicious meal. There’s plenty to do outside of the kitchen like cleaning, decorating, and making sure everyone’s drinks are filled. In the kitchen, you can have somebody get the finger food ready and another person chopping onions or peeling sweet potatoes. This could cut your workload in half.

Enjoy Yourself

Always remember that Thanksgiving is less about the food and more about the people. Keep in mind the reason for this beautiful holiday, and you’re sure to have a stress-free time.

Need some last minute recipe or decoration inspiration? Visit the Texas Heritage for Living Pinterest board All Things Thanksgiving for go-to Turkey Day solutions.

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