Thanksgiving: Prep Now to Enjoy More and Stress Less (Guest Post)

With Thanksgiving just 10 days away, I wanted to share with you some great tips from friend and author Jann W. Martin. These are sure to help you stress less and enjoy your holiday more. And that’s something to be thankful for!

If you aren’t careful, getting ready for Thanksgiving can be very stressful. It seems like such a huge task! There are so many things to plan and prepare. Take a deep breath. You can do it. But to make things a lot easier—and more enjoyable—I suggest making a plan for what needs to be done and when.

Here’s a simple list to help you get, and stay, on track.



  • What room of your home is best suited for your gathering? How should the tables be arranged?
  • What days are free to prepare the house for Thanksgiving? Use those days to start rearranging furniture if necessary.
  • What days will you get table decorations? Do you usually buy a floral piece for the center of the table? Start looking at what your local florist has. Talk with them about what you are looking for, the size, and amount of money you would like to spend.
  • Do a thorough cleaning of the house now. The day before Thanksgiving, just do a quick run through to spiffy things up.



  • How many will be coming? Having a few to a large group can make a difference for you if you let it bother you. Remember that the number is just a number, though; it’s the people gathering that make the difference.
  • Plan activities or crafts for kids. Not only can this help keep little hands busy, but it can help you with table decorations, place cards for the table, etc.



  • What do you want at the meal? What are you planning to make? Are you asking guests to bring some dishes? If so, what should they bring? (Ask them now so they have time to prepare.)
  • What days will you be grocery shopping? Look at your recipes and then make a complete list of what you need to buy. Stock up on what you can now.
  • Some dishes can be made a day or two in advance, which can take some of the stress off of you on the big day. Look at your menu and determine when you can start cooking.
  • What time are you planning on dinner to be eaten? Once you know that, you can determine when you’ll need to start cooking that day.
  • Be sure to set your alarm if you need to get up early to prepare certain dishes, like the turkey. The less rushed you are, the more you (and everyone else) will enjoy the day.


You (Yes, You!):

  • The day before the big dinner, take a little “me time.”
  • Think through your list of what’s ready and what still needs to be done.
  • Reflect on the things you’re most thankful for. This focus can help you enjoy Thanksgiving more and be a more gracious host—and that’s something to be thankful for!

Author: Ashley L Jones

I love encouraging people, whether that means digging into the Bible or making a homemade meal in cast iron. Check out the About section of my blog ( for more details. Thanks for stopping by!

2 thoughts

  1. Good food for thought. Many great ideas to relieve some of the stress from such a big holiday! Thanks for sharing yoir ideas.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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