Thanksgiving Tips for a Stress Free Holiday

 In Holiday

Thanksgiving Tips for a Wonderful Holiday!

My entire family is in WV and I grew up with my grandmother cooking every Thanksgiving and Christmas. When she died, my father and Aunt Sue took over. With my husband’s schedule we weren’t able to go home for the past few Thanksgivings, so I have prepared Thanksgiving dinner for the past several years.

This post will concentrate on the Thanksgiving meal. Look for part 2 coming up to have a stress free Thanksgiving later this month.


My first tip is do Thanksgiving how YOU want to do it. If you have become vegetarian, check out a recipe for tofurkey. Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your family if you want to change it up. It’s about be grateful, so do something that gets you in that spirit. If eating nachos and watching football makes you happy, do that!

Thanksgiving Tips to Reduce Your Stress

Thanksgiving Dinner.

This is the system I use. After I have planned my meal, I lay out or view all my recipes. I then make an ingredients list from ALL the recipes. I make columns for Produce, Dairy, Baking, Meat, Spices, Pantry, Canned Goods, and Condiments.

I take each recipe and add ingredients to the proper column. At the end I tally everything up, so for instance under butter I might have: ½ c; ¼ c; 2 T; 5 T. I add up and see what the final amount of butter is that I need to create my dinner. I do this in all areas. Next, I create my list in the kitchen so I can go through what I have and check off anything I already have in stock.


Now that I have my list, I go to the store to get everything except the perishable, which I will wait to two days before if I can get away with it. I try to avoid the grocery store the day before thanksgiving. I am fortunate that I have flexibility owning my own business so I try to go off hours at the grocery store which for me is usually 9 to 11 or 2 to 4.

Pre Thanksgiving

Looking at my menu, I decide what I can prepare beforehand and try to do as much as possible before Thanksgiving Day. Google cooking hacks and you might be able to find some time savers. I haven’t used the power tool/peeler combo for potatoes yet and I am not sure that I would.

I chunk down as much as possible into smaller steps that I can do throughout the day. I am also someone who sets the table two days before so it’s done. We eat in the kitchen and have a dining room where we entertain. Next,  I write my list for “day of” things I need to accomplish and go from there.

It’s All Good

I have learned as I have gotten older, not to sweat the small stuff. The first year I cooked, I didn’t quite get the timing right and the stuffing had to go back in the oven. I had people start to eat and the stuffing came 10 minutes later. Every one lived. Try and laugh and shrug it off. If anyone’s critical tell him or her they are more than welcome to cook next year.

I love Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Here’s the recipe for the Triple chocolate pumpkin pie I love.


How will you prep for your Thanksgiving day meal? What steps will you take to make this meal easier?

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