I host Thanksgiving for my family each year, and I create a timeline, shopping lists, and plan out other logistics well before. I decide what I can make Tuesday or Wednesday, figure out when I need to put the turkey in the oven if we plan to eat at 4 p.m. and even what serving dishes items will go in. It helps you feel in control of the situation, and a loose timeline the day of lets you mingle with guests without worrying.
Planning also helps avoid eating Thanksgiving dishes in shifts, like what happened to The (Madison, Wisconsin) Capital Times' food editor Lindsay Christians the first year she cooked Thanksgiving dinner. "I didn't know how to cook multiple things at once. So I made the green beans and I brought them out and we ate them. Then I made potatoes, and I brought them out, and we ate them," she says. "By the time we got to dessert, my partner and his friend were completely drunk and I was quite tipsy, and we all agreed it was the best dessert ever."