1. Do everything you can ahead of time. Wash and cut vegetables, make your cranberry sauce, freeze an unbaked pie. Whenever my mom prepares a big meal for company, she always washes and cuts all her vegetables the day before, then stores them in the fridge until it’s time to throw them in a soup, toss them in a stir fry or serve them fresh with dip. It makes the last-minute rush of getting ready for guests just a bit less hectic.
  2. Make these stuffing muffins for individual servings of this holiday favorite that are perfectly crispy and great for pairing with turkey and gravy.
  3. Use butcher paper as an easy, inexpensive tablecloth. Make it classy with calligraphy place settings, or make it fun by setting out markers for your guests to doodle while they dine.
  4. Use cookie cutters for an easy and impressive pie crust. I’m horrendously bad at neatly trimming the edges of my pie crust, so I cover up the edges with seasonal shapes. For Thanksgiving, get a small leaf cookie cutter and arrange a series of little pie crust leaves around the edge of your pie. Brush with egg white for an shiny, golden-brown crust.
  5. Cook your turkey overnight for fall-off-the-fork tender meat and a stress-free prep the day of.
  6. Turn miniature pumpkins into votives for a cheap and easy centerpiece. You can find votive candles for a steal at most dollar stores.
  7. Make wassail in a slow cooker. The kid-friendly version of this warm, spicy holiday drink has always been one of my favorite parts of celebrating Thanksgiving Day at my grandma’s house. It’s easy–you can throw it in the crock pot in the morning and basically forget about it for several hours–and it makes the whole house smell exactly like Thanksgiving is supposed to smell.
  8. Tie utensils together with twine. It’s easy and inexpensive enough to make this list, but rustic-looking enough to be classy.
  9. Watch this video to learn the easiest way ever to peel potatoes. You’ll be wondering why you never thought of this yourself.
  10. Host a potluck. Thanksgiving is all about family, friends and coming together. Make the turkey, provide drinks and ask your guests to bring appetizers, sides or dessert.

Deep breaths. Relax, enjoy time with friends and family, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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