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Having foregone the restaurant option, you are hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner and plotting out the details this weekend. ApartmentTherapy.com wants to take the stress out. Among the key takeaways: Plan decor and tabletop in advance, get up early, and have pre-meal munchies available to entertain the guests while you finish up. (Our tip: In the age of bed bugs, you may want to avoid having your guests deposit their coats on your bed, and get a temporary rack for the hallway instead.)
Some additional advice from ApartmentTherapy commenters:
- "My advice? Don't try to be Martha Stewart."
- "Enlist help, don't cook anything people don't want to eat no matter how "traditional" it is, make sure there is something FOR everyone to eat (including the visiting vegan girfriend) and after that, relax! Nobody will care if your napkins are steel gray or white (or paper!) Nobody will care (or maybe even notice) that you kill yourself over details. So just do what makes you happy and comfortable, and don't let stress ruin the day!"
- "The first Thanksgiving I prepared was for my in-laws. I not only planned my menu out weeks in advance, I mapped out timing and coordination of what to make when - too bad I didn't know to cover the turkey...took twice as long to cook. Everyone ended up super drunk from all wine we drank while waiting and waiting for the damn bird to bake. By the time it was finally ready everyone was on the verge of passing out and stuffed from eating all the side dishes and dessert."
- "My traditional Thanksgiving 'turkey' is Peking duck from Chinatown. I heat it for 10 minutes in the oven, then put it on a platter, as if I'd cooked it."