By: Kelli Whitman (Townsquare Media Intern)

Being the host of Thanksgiving is great because all of your guests trust that everything will be delicious. That’s why they’re coming to you! However, it can be extremely stressful. Here are some tricks and tips to prepare, so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.

What you can do right now:

Figure out exactly what you will be serving. Try to find side dishes that cook at the same oven temperature so things will go a lot smoother. A lot of recipes can be completed, or partially completed beforehand. Schedule your days leading up to the big day. Write down what you want to get done on each day. Decide what kind, and what size turkey you want. Reserve one at your local grocery store to pick up a few days before.

The week before:

Make a shopping list of every single thing you will need, right down to the foil. Sometimes it’s easier to break the grocery shopping into two trips, so you’re not overwhelmed. Clean your kitchen top to bottom. Clean out, and wipe down your refrigerator, leaving plenty of room for platters and dishes. Decide which cookware you are going to use for each dish. Head to the store and get everything you can prepare, or partially prepare, in advance.

Monday:  If you are using a frozen turkey, time to defrost!

Tuesday:  Make your pie dough, and everything that will be served chilled. Toast bread for the stuffing.

Wednesday:  Make your final trip to the store and don’t forget to pick up your turkey! Cut, peel, trim, and chop up all the veggies you will be using. Bake your pie and let it cool completely. Assemble your sides that need to be baked, in their baking dishes, and refrigerate.

Thanksgiving Day:  While your turkey is roasting, cook the side dishes. While the turkey is resting, re-warm any sides that you previously made. As you’re enjoying the fabulous dinner you just made, warm the dessert.

Preparation is key: good luck!!