Don't Stress! 5 Last-Minute Tips to Breeze Through Thanksgiving

It's inevitable that whenever you invite friends and family into your home for a meal, there will be stress. You worry that something may not go right or someone's dietary needs or preference may not be met. Maybe you've never made a turkey and this is your first year, or perhaps gravy is just not your strength. Thankfully, we've got a couple tips this year to help you breeze through the day with sanity and grace.

The main thing that helps alleviate holiday stress is to get the task at hand done early so you can enjoy spending time with your guests. There are many ways to do this, and we've listed a few of our favorites here below to ensure you have a happy (and fun!) week ahead:

5 Tips For a Low-Stress Holiday

1. Save on Time Where You Can: You don't have to go all out on everything. Make a quick gravy this year or a simple stuffing.

2. Delegate: People like to chip in, especially when it comes to Thanksgiving. It makes them feel a part of the celebration, even if they're not the ones making the turkey. We have friends bring bread and wine each year, and another group of friends takes care of the gravy.

3. Use the Morning: I like to get up in the morning, make the pies and the appetizer plates, and help get the table ready. That way, I have a chance to actually enjoy the afternoon when guests are arriving and it doesn't feel harried throughout the entire day.

4. Don't Panic if Something Goes Wrong: Remember that New York Times piece on renaming dishes that didn't work out quite like you expected? Well that can come into handy with big holiday meals, too. Try to be flexible and know that most people are so happy to be with friends and family (and not to be the ones cooking) that they'll hardly notice any small missteps you're likely obsessing over.

5. The Dishes Can Wait: After preparing a big holiday meal, the last thing you want to do is tackle a big sink (or counter) of dishes. If you're lucky, guests will help. But if not, just leave them for the next morning! There's no reason everything needs to be spic and span the second folks walk out the door.

Related: A Low-Stress Thanksgiving: Recipes, Tips and Advice

(Images: BHG)

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