Hosting the Thanksgiving holiday? Read this first!

Posted at 10:48 AM, Nov 07, 2016

There is usually a lot of pressure for those hosting Turkey Day - from the food to the decor to the ambiance. People have waited the whole year for this food coma, and everybody has their own set of expectations created by a lifetime of traditions.

We say, let's start a new tradition that doesn't involve getting stressed out! Start by using these ingenious Thanksgiving tips and tricks that will make your T-Day epic, without requiring you to spend your November in a haze of planning and baking.

1. Print Out EVERY Recipe You Intend To Use

This goes for EVERY dish and drink-even a simple mixed drink recipe. The last thing you want to do on Thanksgiving is scroll hastily through your phone with flour-covered fingers as you try to remember how to make a dirty martini! Print out everything beforehand and hang it, along with the complete menu, at EYE LEVEL in your kitchen.

2. Don't Wait Until Thanksgiving Day To Get Baking

You're planning to wait until the morning of to start cranking out your pecan and pumpkin pies? What are you, a masochist? Bake your pies two to three days in advance. They will keep just fine in the fridge. Place them on the countertop on Thanksgiving morning to come to room temperature.

3. Do All Of Your Prep Work The Night Before

Cut the peppers. Dice the onions. Mince the garlic. Put it all in Pyrex or resealable bags. Not only will you save time chopping, you will save time cleaning all that up! And you will have clean countertops, cutting boards and knives ready to begin on T-Day. Better yet? Decide if there are recipes you can make a week or two in advance and then freeze.

4. Set The Table The Night Before

This one's a do-ahead no-brainer. If you are having a kids' table, it's a really cute idea to use butcher paper as the tablecloth and put some crayons in a pretty (non-breakable) cup or bowl. Kiddos can color to stay entertained between courses! (This also works for those who are kids at heart and/or have had several glasses of wine.)

5. Use Your Coolers

Break out any and all coolers you have. They have so many uses! First, it's an easy way to keep drinks cool and out of the fridge, allowing you to save on valuable space and keep Uncle Bill out of your way while you're in crunch mode. Second, you can even use them to keep hot foods hot! Yep, just don't put any ice in (obviously). Instead, just put the food in resealable containers and keep the cooler shut. Works well for things like macaroni and cheese, casseroles and any other dishes that hold their heat well or need to stay warm but not piping hot.

6. Add A Dash Of Baking Powder To Your Mashed Potatoes

This trick makes mashed potatoes more fluffy, turning a typical mashed potato recipe into everyone's Thanksgiving high point.

7. Don't Get Too Fancy For Your Own Good

Use the microwave for the cranberry sauce. Forget whisking whipped cream by hand. Instead, use a mason jar (Just shake it up!). Use the pre-made biscuits Hey, the Pilgrims wouldn't have complained!

And…that’s not all! There are 12 more amazingly smart and simple tips for keeping Thanksgiving stress-free when you find this story