Thanksgiving Stress

How to deal with all the stress that comes with planning thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving Stress
My family’s Thanksgiving 2019

We have all been there, thanksgiving morning, looking around the kitchen completely lost. Stressing, wondering where we should even start. Questioning all the work we put in so far. Will everyone like it? Is this enough food? Do I have enough forks? Where will everyone sit? Well I’m about to tell you how I avoid the last minute stress that comes the second you open eyes that wonderful thanksgiving morning.

In my personal opinion you should start planning November 1st, so that you will have plenty of time to plan and replan everything. First things first you need to figure out how many people you are going to be feeding. Will it just be your immediate family, or will it be a much bigger crowd full of great grandparents and family friends? Once you have your guest list you are going to need to figure out if anyone has any allergies before you can go any further. Then you will want to see if anyone plans on bringing any dishes themselves or if you will be doing all cooking yourself.

Now you can start making your meal plan. What you decide to make is completely up to you but make sure to include foods that everyone will enjoy so no one feels left out, or like there is nothing for them to eat. If you are planning to have a big group of people over make sure to double or triple your recipes so you will have plenty of food to feed everyone. Now that you have your meal plan you are going to need to make a list of all the ingredients you need and start shopping as soon as possible, becuase if you wait until the last minute the grocery may be out of what you need. And no one wants to have to rethink everything at the last moment. While you are shopping don’t forget to get things like extra plates, glasses, and silverware if you don’t have enough at home for everyone.

Now you have your guest list, your meal plan, all you ingredients, extra dinnerware, you need to make sure you have enough places for everyone to sit. Wether that be around one big table, multiple tables, or in a living room on the couches and chairs. You just need to make sure no one is stuck standing against a wall or sitting on the floor. If you want to go a step further you can even make a seating chart and plan where everyone will sit in order to avoid fighting over chairs or who they have to sit by. It’s thanksgiving, you don’t want everyone arguing and fighting over little things that can be avoided.

Let’s get cooking

Everything is planed and ready to go the only thing left to do is start cooking. You can wait til thanksgiving day to start cooking if you really want to, but who wants to deal with all of that work in one day. I prefer to start cooking about two days before starting with desserts such as cookies, pies, and cakes, because most do not have to be refrigerated and can just be stored in a sealed container until the day comes. When it comes to the turkey or anything else that you want to cook on thanksgiving day, I find it easier to have it all prepped and ready to go the night before so all I have to do is stick it in the oven or on the stove thanksgiving morning. That way I’m not spending all of my time in the kitchen and can go and mingle with my family and friends a little bit while still keeping an eye on all of the food.

When it comes down to it you can make thanksgiving as big or as small as you want to. You are the one planning it after all, if someone has a problem with it they can do all the planning themselves next year. Don’t forget this is your thanksgiving too, and you should be able to enjoy it just as much as everyone else. I hope you all have a great thanksgiving and thank you for taking the time to read how I like to do my thanksgiving. I hope it helped!

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Alexis Knochel
See all posts by Alexis Knochel