Organizing a stress-free Thanksgiving

You many not believe it until you see it, but hosting a fun and simplified Thanksgiving celebration is truly possible. And we want to help you pull it off. There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the party along with your guests. The key is to plan ahead, make rational decisions and maintain perspective.

Go over the details ahead of time. Be aware of how many guests you’re expecting and tailor your recipes and dishes to fit this crowd. There’s no need to cook for an army when you’re serving a table for 12. Make a list of all the dishes ahead of time, including specifications such as who will be preparing what and—if your kitchen is required—where will it be cooked and for how long. To really avoid complications, choose two side dishes prepared on your stove that complement the turkey (such as stuffing and mashed potatoes) and include a mixture of roasted veggies rather than an array of vegetable dishes.

We all like to impress our friends and families with our superb hosting and chef-like abilities. But there’s a time and a place for everything. Perhaps your first turn at hosting the family Thanksgiving isn’t an ideal setting for experimenting with a new, elaborate recipe. This kind of high-pressure situation will only bring on more stress. Instead, focus on simplicity. Pulling it all off at the end of the night will be enough to brag about. And don’t expect perfection. There will always be obstacles to overcome; remind yourself this is your family and they are just happy to be spending Thanksgiving together.

Lastly, step back to consider your overall approach. What is the most important part of the holidays? Sharing it with loved ones, of course! Focus on ensuring your friends and family feel comfortable and welcome. This is just as important as the food—if not more. Approach the festivities with a welcoming and loving outlook and these positive perspectives will be reflected back in return.

For more ideas that can help make your entertaining easier, visit or stop by the store at 407 Gage Avenue, Unit #4 in Kitchener. A friendly staff member would be happy to help you or take your questions at 519-743-3623.