How to Make Sure Thanksgiving Dinner Goes Smoothly

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Downtown Market

Tips For Thanksgiving Dinner

Every year we offer to have Thanksgiving Dinner at our house and every year we find ourselves stressed, panicked, and overwhelmed as Thanksgiving Day draws closer and closer.  There never seems to be enough time or energy to create the dinner we had previously envisioned.  If you’re like us, you know how awful this can feel.  This year, however, we decided to compile the best tips for hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner and share them with you! These tips are sure to keep you calm, collected, and focused on giving the family dinner of your dreams.

Make Your Dream Thanksgiving Dinner

Help is Around the Corner

The biggest mistake you can make is trying to do it all by yourself.  Things will inevitably slip through the cracks and you might find yourself losing control of the meal entirely.  Ask for help! People are always willing to help out by bringing something. Have your menu ready in advance and highlight items that can be delegated to someone else.  It can be anything, from a cocktail to an appetizer to something as simple as extra cookware.  Whatever it is, it is one less thing you will have to worry about. 

If you don’t want to ask your guests to help out, you can still find help from local stores.  Here at the Market, we have tons of options for the searching host.  For example, Field & Fire bakes seriously delicious rolls and Aperitivo offers amazing appetizer platters and wines. Take advantage of what your community has to offer and save yourself some trouble. 


Make a Simple Menu

We have all seen those jaw-dropping, magazine-worthy pictures of fancy Thanksgiving Dinner parties. We have all been tempted to create our own elaborate meal. There are few things as inspiring as a stunning meal.   But, take our word for it when we say this kind of an undertaking rarely goes as planned.  Seriously fancy dinner parties take time and practice to master.  If you won’t be able to commit the time and effort needed to pull it off, focus on doing what you can commit to as well as possible.  Select dishes that you are comfortable making and that you have done before.  If you enjoy cooking and eating these dishes, your guests will too.  Maybe you decide to cook perfectly creamy mashed potatoes (pro tip: we sneak in a little sour cream to add a little zip) or maybe it’s your favorite pecan pie.  Either way, this is not the time to try out entirely new recipes and meals.  You don’t need the extra stress on top of hosting.  Focus on perfecting what you already know how to cook and save the stress for later!

Pro Tip: Add a little sour cream to your mashed potatoes

Stay Organized

Grab a notebook and start a section dedicated just for Thanksgiving Dinner.  Jot down your menu and shopping lists.  Make a list of what tasks you will need to do a week out, three days out, the night before, and the day of.  You will be surprised at how a little planning can make a huge difference. 

Plus, next year, you can always reference back to your previous Thanksgiving planning.  Bonus!


Have Fun

Sometimes we can forget that Thanksgiving is meant to be a celebration.  We get so caught up in the pressures of entertaining our guests that we forget to enjoy ourselves.  Remember, nothing will go just as planned.  Something will burn or will be undercooked or you might have to improvise on seating arrangements. Just laugh it off! You are with family and friends, eating good food, and enjoying each other’s company.  Anything that goes wrong will just be a great anecdote for next year’s party!


Need a little extra help? We have two upcoming classes that will relief your stress and have you making Thanksgiving dinner like a pro. On November 2, we're hosting our Turkey Basics class, which is perfect if it's your first time in charge of Thanksgiving. Then, on November 9, we're hosting a New Age Twists On Modern Classics class, where we will teach you how to make all of the classic dishes with a modern twist. Both classes are a great way to have some fun and refine your cooking skills before your big dinner. 



Have any helpful Thanksgiving dinner tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!