Holidays · Organization · Time Management

How To Host A Stress-Free Thanksgiving Meal {Part Two: November}

It’s officially Thanksgiving season! With just three weeks until Thanksgiving, it’s time to get serious about planning and preparation. Today I’m sharing with you six things I do this month to make my Thanksgiving day as stress-free as possible.

1 – Confirm The Guest List

I reach out to all my guests to confirm their attendance and communicate what time we will be eating. I like for my guests to arrive at least 30 minutes before meal time so I can visit with them for a few minutes before crunch time, when all the last minute meal prep tasks have to be completed.

2 – Finalize My Menu

I save all the recipes to my Pinterest board for easy reference while shopping and cooking. Once I know exactly what I’m serving, I also make note of what I would like others to bring. Often guests will ask if they can bring something, and I’m always happy for their help!

If I’m ordering food from a restaurant or bakery, this is also when I place my order for those things.

3 – Practice My Table Setting

It helps me to gather all the linens, plates and glasses for a trial run of my table setting. I make sure I like how everything looks together and then snap a few pictures of the final product. This helps me to easily recreate the look when I set the table Thanksgiving week.

You can definitely set the table several days ahead if you like. I also iron and hang all my linens so they will be fresh and ready to go when I set the table.

Watch: How To Iron Tablecloths and Cloth Napkins

4 – Create The Thanksgiving Day Schedule

It takes a little bit of planning to have all that food hot and ready at the same time! I work backwards from the time I want everything ready and decide when to put each dish in the oven. To get an idea of what that looks like, click here to see my schedule from 2014.

5 – Designate and Label Serving Bowls

For some reason, this is such a helpful step in my planning process! The day before Thanksgiving, I decide what bowls I want to use for serving each thing on my menu. I set them out on the counter and put a post-it note on each dish so I don’t have to think about what goes where during that last minute crunch time.

6 – Pray Over The Day

I find it so helpful to start praying over the holiday early in the month. This is a wonderful passage to pray as you prepare to be together with family: “That [our] hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians‬ ‭2:2-3

Invite Jesus to be present! Whether you have a calm, loving family that usually always gets along or a crazy, dysfunctional family with little in common – God will help you as you desire to worship Him and encourage others with your family time.

Read More:

I hope these tips are helpful for you and that your Thanksgiving Day will be stress-free with plenty of good food and sweet time with your family and friends. ❤


6 thoughts on “How To Host A Stress-Free Thanksgiving Meal {Part Two: November}

  1. Thank you for this post!! I’m hosting my family for Thanksgiving dinner- 20 people – for the first time! So I’ll take all the tips you have. I really wish you could meet me for lunch and talk everything through 🙂 Thanks for helping me get the planning ball rolling now. I have been collecting paper products, decor and table centerpieces and have jotted down a tentative menu. I loved the way you ended your list to pray over your day. Sometimes I can stress over the details and forget the big picture.


    1. Wow – I’ve never cooked for THAT many people. I think the most I’ve ever hosted was around 15, and I kept it super simple with paper products and a smaller menu in big pans. I’m sure your meal will be thoughtfully prepared and beautifully presented! ❤ Can't wait to hear how it goes!


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