1. Have a set guest list at least the week before so you can set the table ahead of time.

Setting the table takes up a lot of time but unlike food, doesn’t have to be made fresh. The only thing you need to do first is finalize your guest list. Of course you can always add or remove a place setting, but it’s easier to organize when you have an exact number. Plus a headcount will help you know exactly how much food to make.

2. Prepare are least 3 dishes the day before.

The holidays are a time that is meant to be about spending time with your family-not slaving away in the kitchen. A great thing to do is prepare some dishes a day or two in advance to help free up some time on the big day. A couple of dishes that can easily be made the day before are mashed potatoes, just reheat the next day and pie crust, make it the day before and keep it in the freezer.

3. Instead of peeling potatoes, boil and ice them! 

If you boil potatoes, you don’t need to peel them first, just place them in ice water after you boil them and the skin easily slips off just by using your hands. Skin peelers take so long and are so tedious. Work on other dishes while the potatoes are sitting in the water and when they’re ready, quickly use your hands to take off the skin.

4. Create a checklist before and actually check things off as you do them.

Checklists are forgotten tools that are actually super helpful. They make sure that you don’t forget about anything that you need to do by constantly reminding you each time you go back to them. They also make it really satisfying knowing you’re done with each task after you have checked it off.

5. Only serve a couple appetizers.

We all love appetizers, but guests (and you) will be mad if they don’t save enough room for the actual mean! Don’t over stuff them with appetizers, instead just pick your favorite few to serve.

6. DIY tin foil roasting rack. 

If you are making a turkey, put it on a roasting rack (with a roasting pan underneath) for the perfect turkey. If you find yourself without one, don’t sweat it! Grab a roll of tinfoil, scrunch a few sheets into a long 1-inch thick rope, and coil it into a spiral that is big enough for the turkey. It super easy and will definitely cause you one less break down!


Nobody needs that family scare during the holidays, and you don’t want to be the one blamed for it either. Most recipes can be changed to accommodate food allergies and avoid any holiday trouble.