We are officially at the one week and counting point - aka - next week at this time people will be making their frantic last minute trips to the grocery store (after swearing they had everything on their list), pouring giant glasses of wine to help get them in the zone, and preparing their homes for out of town guests.

I’ve hosted my share of Thanksgiving holidays and thought I’d share some of my favorite tricks and hacks for a “less stress” day - I don’t dare say stress free because we know that isn’t realistic

In no particular order:

-Prep what you can ahead of time and reheat before dinner. I typically make some sides and apps the night before, label them and into the fridge they go.

-Speaking of apps, prep them early in the morning, and weather pending, store them in a safe spot outside until it’s go time. Think cheese and meat platters that take up lots of space - I have made mine up and kept them on my deck, in a cooler if necessary. Fridge space is of the essence for the holiday.

-Map out an oven schedule ahead of time. How long does everything need to cook? Put things into an excel chart if you’re feeling extra fancy.

-Everything doesn’t need to be from scratch. Boxed stuffing is fine, and as my very Italian dad always says, “just spice it up” - add apples or walnuts to take boxed stuffing to the next level. Same with pies, frozen is acceptable.

-Buy a fresh set of throw away containers or cheap Tupperware and have them ready as you sit down for dinner. If you are letting your guests take leftovers, label one for each household and give them out when you are done eating. This will make clearing the table and the kitchen so easy.

Those are the big ones that I’ve found to be especially helpful as I’ve navigated hosting duties over the years. Do you have anything to add to the list?