How to Host a Stress-Free Thanksgiving, Part 4

And here we are. How to host a stress-free thanksgiving part four!

We’re less than one week from the big day! So today we are going to cover just a few last things to help keep your stress-level nice and low on Thanksgiving!

In case you missed the previous posts in this series, you can find them here:

How to Host a Stress-Free Thanksgiving, Part 1
How to Host a Stress-Free Thanksgiving, Part 2
How to Host a Stress-Free Thanksgiving, Part 3

A pumpkin plate, Thanksgiving napkin, butter dish and place cards on a wooden surface.

One Week And Under From Turkey Day

If you take away only one point from today’s post, let it be this!

1. Make a timeline for Thanksgiving Day

Again, just like the general cooking timeline we chatted about in part three for all your advance prep work, I consider the day-of timeline one of the most important strategies to keeping calm and happy!

This timeline is where you get into the nitty gritty of how you will cook everything on Thanksgiving Day. We’re talking oven temps, cooking times, you name it.

So how do you do this?

Decide what time you will eat and work backward from that point.

Go through your recipes and figure out how long everything needs to be in the oven (or on the stovetop), when things need to be prepped or even rewarmed, and of course any reminders to yourself. Plug this all into your timeline!

Once again, because it is easier to just show you what I mean, you can find my day-of timeline below!

—-> 2015 Thanksgiving Day Timeline (it’s just a simple, no frills PDF file)

This timeline really helps manage everything going on in your kitchen that day. You won’t have any last minute surprises (or realizations that you don’t have enough room in the oven, etc.).

A kitchen countertop with a cutting board, knife and laptop computer.

2. Keep on cooking

Keep on with all your prep work according to that general cooking timeline you made after reading part three of this series!

The days leading up to Thanksgiving are always a flurry of prep work at my house.

And while that adds some things to my to-do list for each day after work, it is always so worth it come Thanksgiving Day when I can actually spend time with our family and friends!

A dining room table set up for Thanksgiving.

Our simple table setting from last year’s Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Day

Let’s quickly talk Thanksgiving Day.

1. Keep both your day-of timeline and your menu with you in the kitchen

I keep my computer with me, but if you don’t, be sure to print off your timeline so you have easy access. Same goes for any recipes that you may need!

I also like to keep my menu handy on turkey day. This helps make sure you don’t forget to put out any dishes when it comes time to eat (unlike my mom who is notorious for leaving dishes in the microwave and only realizing this after dinner! hi mom!).

2. Stick to your timeline

You made that bad boy for a reason. Don’t try to whip up an extra dish for some crazy reason the day of.

One of my favorite parts about having that timeline is that if I get caught up in a conversation with guests or the husband (chatty cathy right here), I can easily get right back on track and not forget anything.

Makes the day so much more enjoyable!

A beagle sitting in a chair trying to get food from the table.

And finally?

Relax, smile and enjoy your Thanksgiving! Emma will most definitely be doing just that.

And yes, she absolutely thinks she is a person. Exhibit A above from last year’s Christmas at my parent’s house. Don’t worry – she didn’t actually get any of that food.