Make a Plan
Get out a notebook, your calendar, and a pen and brainstorm Thanksgiving. Start thinking about a menu, figure out when you need to go shopping, and contemplate what prep can be done on what days.
Enlist Guests to Help By Bringing Something
Everyone loves to taste new items. This will give a variety and more food to go around.
Another option is to delegate an entire course to a guest, like appetizers, drinks, or dessert.
Make Your Menu
Now that you know what the guests are bringing, you can begin planning your own shopping, prep, and cooking.
Stick With What You Know
If you're hosting Thanksgiving, you know your guests expect to see, like turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pie. If you want a little variety here are a few sides that might be a hit.
Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Cauliflower Salad With Pomegranate
Make a Grocery List
Organize your shopping list the way the store is laid out: produce, meat, dairy, canned goods, grains, baking, and snacks.
Get Your Serving Dishes Ready
Pull out all of the necessary serving dishes and utensils, too, and make sure they are ready to go.
Schedule Food Prep
Tasks like chopping vegetables and baking pies can be done a day or two ahead of time. Whatever you can do ahead without sacrificing quality, do it. It'll save you time, effort, and stress on meal day.
Inventory place settings, linens, the room around the table, and chairs. Do you have enough for the number of guests you're expecting? Double-check your serving dishes too.
Are you going to set up a separate area for soda, water, and wine? Since you'll be busy on Thanksgiving day, it might make sense to let your guests help themselves. It makes sense to set up a beverage station.
There's no need to go overboard. Plan your table decor, flowers, candles, and mini gourds.
Make a Thanksgiving Day Timeline
Include, at a minimum, the following elements: breakfast, appetizers, sit-down dinner, and dessert.
Chances are it will not as perfect as you have planned. With a few early organization tips, you will feel more at ease and in control.