Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. Here are some Thanksgiving tips and tricks to help you prepare and get through the holiday smoothly and stylishly.

1. Decorate your table. Beautiful place settings don’t have to take a lot of effort. Nor do they need to be extravagant or complicated.

2.  Embrace twists to staple dishes to make your Thanksgiving more memorable. Instead of an ordinary chip and dip appetizer, check out try this lemon herb and cauliflower bean dip.

Cauliflower on wooden board, cleaned and ready for cooking

Spruce up your holiday dips with some cauliflower, a versatile vegetable that makes for some great appetizers! Try this healthy recipe from Edible Perspective to begin.

If you sometimes include scalloped potatoes in your spread, try this delicious parsnip gratin with gruyere and thyme.

Instead of resorting to the time-old French’s green bean casserole, serve this gorgeous bacon and cheddar green bean casserole with crispy shallots.

Geen bean casserole set on table ready for Thanksgiving dinner

This Thanksgiving side just got a little tastier, thanks to the Hopeless Housewife.

3.  Make sure you have a Thanksgiving soundtrack. We suggest artists such as James Taylor, Louis Armstrong, Donald Fagen, Jake Sampson, and some classic Nat King Kole or Miles Davis. If you don’t have time to make a playlist and don’t have any volunteers to do it for you, then switch on the radio or tv to a jazz or smooth jazz music station. is an awesome free music website where you can build a customized online radio station based on a musical artist or song that you like. You’ll get a short commercial every once in a while, but each lasts only a few moments before the music returns again.

4.  Set up a designated appetizer table in a comfortable area instead of littering platters around the kitchen. A designated app area makes them more accessible to guests and keeps people from meandering in and out of your dinner prep area.

5.  Plan for kids. Make sure you’re stocked up on fun games like Apples to Apples, Curses, Cranium, and Uno to keep kids busy and entertained.

Oh, and our biggest Thanksgiving tips? Don’t forget to take the bag of giblets out of the turkey, but if you do (or if something else catastrophic happens to the bird, like dropping it on the floor), then hurry and check out this emergency turkey saving article!

Are you a Thanksgiving pro? What’s the best Thanksgiving tip you can offer?
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