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Let’s face it – Thanksgiving is complicated. Big expectations. Big crowds. And then there’s that big meal.

That’s why you need some hacks to help you through the day!

Here are 5 ideas to help the host:

Don’t make a whole turkey. What?! Unthinkable!

Not really. Skip the pressure of making an enormous bird. A turkey breast is usually between 2-4 pounds. That’s still plenty of meat, especially if you’re cooking for a smaller crowd. With a table filled with colorful sides and a knockout dessert, no one is leaving hungry.

Break it up. You don’t have to make dishes ahead, but at least break up the prep. Plan to chop on Wednesday and cook on Thursday.

Don’t experiment the day of. That long list of new recipes? Yeah – you’ll want to save those for another time. Sweet potato souffle sounds amazing…until you’re stressed out and everyone in your living room is ready to eat.


Have little bites when people arrive if you’re serving later in the day. Otherwise, you’ll have a room full of starving (and cranky people) when you sit down at 3:00 or 4:00, long after their regular lunch hour. Keep it light so they have plenty of space for the main event. Think deviled eggs, crudite, and some of your favorite cold tapas.

Order out for dessert. Unless you’re already a pie expert, order desserts this weekend from your favorite bakery, and mix it up! (Think pumpkin cheesecake for grown-ups and cookies which are easy for little hands to hold.) You can still make dessert time extra special by mulling some apple cider or setting up a coffee bar.

Make sure you bookmark this post. You know all those guests will be back in December!


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